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Find out how to get help with finding and choosing the right childcare for you and your family, paying for childcare and information about free early years places for three-year-olds along with information on getting your child ready for school.

Types of childcare

The Family Information Service (FIS) offers an online directory to give families a useful guide to services and organisations that support children and young people, parents, carers and the people who work with them. You can also find out more information on childcare on our childcare page

Paying for childcare

Working parents

As part of Tax Credits you may qualify for help towards the costs of childcare. If you do qualify, the total amount of help you receive will depend on your income.  To calculate how much you may be entitled to, go to the Tax Credits Calculator or call the information line on 0845 300 3900.

Parents rights

Free advice on parents rights in the work place is available at Working Families.

Care to Learn for young parents

If you are under 20 and have one or more children, Care to Learn can help with the cost of your childcare while you learn.

To be eligible you must be under 20 years old on the day your course or learning programme begins. As long as you begin the course before you are 20, Care to Learn will contribute towards your childcare costs until the course has finished.

Request an information booklet from the Family Information Service.

Family Centres

Family centres are a type of community base where children under five and their families can access the information, support, help and advice they need to give their child the best start in life.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The EYFS is a statutory framework for all childcare providers who work with children aged 0-5 years.  It describes how your child should be kept safe and cared for and how to make sure your child achieves the most they can in their earliest years.

Sycamore Adventure

Play is a crucial part of childhood and is the key to how children learn about the world. It is essential to their health, well-being and development.  We are committed to ensuring all children and young people are able to enjoy play in exciting and safe environments and over the past decade, £2.6million Play Pathfinder Program investment has seen a wealth of work carried out across the borough to provide first class play areas. This includes the development of 28 children’s play areas and the development of Dudley's only operating outdoor and indoor children’s adventure playground.

Sycamore Adventure is a truly amazing place for children’s play. The two acre site boasts swings, slides, trampolines, tree houses, hobbit house, forest area, water play, sand pit, boat, jeep, giant play barn complete with soft play, sensory room, large play hall, café, toilets, care room and car parking. Sycamore Adventure has received a raft of local and national awards in recognition of the outstanding service that it provides to our community. Sycamore Adventure offers Public play sessions, children’s parties, school trips, on site café and mutually beneficial partnership opportunities for businesses which provide direct benefit to children.

UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative

Revolutionising healthcare for babies, their mothers and families in the UK.

UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Childcare providers have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure they support the equity of access of all children to their provision under the Equality Act 2010.

We are committed to ensuring that all children have equal access to early learning and as part of this commitment, we are implementing a government initiative called Disability Access Funding (DAF). The fund is for early years and childcare providers/schools with three and four year olds who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in their own right and taking up Early Education Funding (EEF). 

DAF will be paid directly to the child’s early years and childcare setting/school at a fixed sum of £615.00 per child per anniversary year. This funding should be used by the child’s setting to purchase resources/equipment or additional support for your child.

Providers will inform parents if they think they may be eligible for DAF; the parent then makes their application via the parent/carer declaration which they are required to sign each term.

Parents will then be contacted to seek proof of receipt of Disability Living Allowance for their child to the local authority.

Please be advised that if children are splitting their free entitlement across two or more settings; parents are required to nominate the setting to whom they wish the payment to be made. This is usually the setting where the child is accessing the majority of their free entitlement, as this funding cannot be split with another setting.


Getting ready for school

Information to help you get your child ready for school.