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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.

Looking for 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. Information is available on all aspects of family life.

Childcare , activities and family support

Types of childcare

Inclusion

Dudley is committed to inclusion for all its children and young people, regardless of their experiences and circumstances. We believe that every child has the right to reach their full potential.

Inclusion is a process we continually work towards with the aim of ensuring a flexible approach to meet the ever-changing needs of our children and young people. Dudley recognises that children are all different and prides itself on ensuring that these differences are valued, celebrated and respected.

We work in partnership with specialist services to ensure children, young people and their families receive consistent, quality childcare provision.

We aim to ensure there is good quality, accessible childcare places available for children with additional educational needs and/or disabilities and for children from minority groups.

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.

Family centres 

Play Pathfinder

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.

Dudley Council is committed to ensuring all children and young people are able to enjoy play in exciting and safe environments and over the past two years, work has been carried out across the borough to provide first class play areas.

From swings and sculptures to games and frames, a totally terrific transformation has been happening in our parks.

Work at 28 different sites has been carried out under the £2.6million Play Pathfinder programme and a wide variety of new play equipment, safety features, seating and improved access have all been installed.

Children and young people can now enjoy new zip wires, climbing frames and walls, basketball hoops, roundabouts, swings and slides.

Specialist equipment such as bucket swings, playground markings, sculptures and wheelchair accessible roundabouts have been put in place.

School children and young people have been helping with the design and planning of the improvements to the parks and a range of disability groups have helped the council ensure the completed sites have been designed to give access to people of all abilities.

A major part of the scheme is the creation of a purpose-built adventure playground at Sycamore Green in Dudley. The playground includes indoor and outdoor adventure play facilities and is aimed at children aged from eight to 13.

www.sycamoreadventure.co.uk

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a statutory framework for all childcare providers who work with children aged from birth to five. It covers the stage of a child's development from birth to the end of their first year in school (Reception).

The EYFS framework contains two sets of requirements; the learning and development requirements which describe how early years practitioners should work with children and their families to support their learning and development. The safeguarding and welfare requirements cover all other aspects of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for the children.

It describes how your child should be kept safe and cared for and how all concerned can make sure that your child achieves the most that they can in their earliest years of life.

Ask at your child’s setting or school for more details.

Paying for childcare

Working parents

As part of Tax Credits (TC) 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 www.workingfamilies.org.uk

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 get Care to Learn, 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.

More information is available on the Gov.uk Care to Learn webpage, alternatively you can request an information booklet from the Family Information Service using our online form or call us on 01384 814398/9.

If you require support finding appropriate childcare please contact the Childcare Strategy Team on 01384 81 8126 or contact the Family Information Service.

UNICEF Initiative Baby Friendly

It is recognised that the application of these policies are a matter of priority for all Health Visitors, Community Nursery Nurses, Breastfeeding Buddies, GP’s, Children’s Centres and any other additional services to consider during their day to day interactions with parents, carers and their babies.

UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative

Safeguarding

As a parent or carer you want to make sure your children are safe, happy and well-looked after. You try and protect them from abuse or neglect and help them grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults.

Safeguarding - for parents and carers