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Choosing childcare

Choosing the right childcare is probably one of the most important choices that a parent will need to make.

Every parent wishes to find quality and affordable childcare that will meet the needs of both work and family life. The following information will help you to make an informed decision.

The Family Support Team can help you find the right childcare for your family. Just contact us and explain your criteria and we will find all the relevant childcare in your chosen area. We have negotiated discounts with a number of childcare providers and 'out of school' clubs across Essex; however should you choose one that does not offer an NHS discount, please let us know and we will contact them to try and negotiate one for you.

Different types of childcare

Southend on Sea Borough Council Childcare page

Free childcare places for 3 and 4 year olds.

15 hours of free nursery education for 38 weeks of the year for all 3 and 4 year olds.   

Free early education places are available at a range of early years settings including nursery schools and classes, children's centres, day nurseries, play groups and pre-schools and childminders. Ladybird Nursery is one of these early years settings. For more information please contact the nursery by email:

Care to Learn

If you are a parent and have started or are due to start a course whilst you're under 20, you can have help to pay for your childcare and related travel costs while you're learning through Care to Learn. 

To find out more about Care to Learn please visit the Care to Learn pages on direct gov, or if you'd like some help with your application you can call the Learner Support helpline on 0800 121 8989.

If you are under 16 you should contact your school or the Connexions Service at Connexions or call 080 800 13219. If you started your learning after you reached 19 you should contact your local college.

Schools and childcare services

Information about schools and services in the area is available through the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council website, which is an external sites.  

Southend Borough Council

The above link provides a searchable list of schools in the Southend area, including contact and website details where available. For more information please contact Amanda Wilkinson, HR Welfare Support Officer.