UK Life

Childcare in the UK

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A guide to finding childcare in the UK


For many overseas doctors relocating to the UK with their families, finding trusted and affordable childcare whilst they are working is of huge importance. It can also be a daunting and time-consuming task, particularly when you have moved into a new environment. 

With this in mind, we’ve written this blog to give you some guidance and support by covering the below topics:


How to find childcare in the UK

We appreciate that for many overseas doctors relocating to the UK with their families, finding trusted and affordable childcare whilst they are working is of huge importance. We also appreciate that when you are moving to a new, unknown, environment it can take some time to find somewhere that accommodates both your own needs and your family’s needs. Thankfully, support is available in both finding and paying for childcare in the UK.  

You will be able to search for a place in a nursery school by clicking here.

To find a registered childminder in the area that you will be moving to, click here.

To find out what free early education and childcare is available in your area, click here.

If you need any help finding a postcode, you can use Royal Mail’s postcode finder by clicking here.

Checking providers

Ofsted:

Ofsted – the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills – is responsible for inspecting a range of educational institutions, including state schools and some independent schools. 

You can search for Ofsted inspection reports for childminders and childcare providers, schools, colleges and further education providers, children and families services, and residential holiday schemes for disabled children by clicking here.

How much does childcare cost in the UK?

The average cost of sending a child under the age of two to nursery in the UK is:

  • £127 per week – part time (25 hours)
  • £242 per week – full time (50 hours)

And the average cost to use a registered childminder for a child under the age of two is:

  • £113 per week – part time (25 hours)
  • £221 per week – full time (50 hours)

The average cost for an after-school club for five days per week is £59. 

Naturally, childcare costs will vary depending on the age of your children and how many hours you will need childcare for. 

The good news is that there is help that you can get with childcare costs if you select childcare from an approved childcare provider. Continue reading this article for further details. 

Are there any UK Government schemes to help me?

Yes – You can get support with childcare costs if you select childcare from an approved childcare provider. 

We’ve listed some of the help that’s available to you below:

Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For every £8 you pay into your childcare account the government will pay in £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child each year, or £4,000 per disabled child each year.

This can pay for approved childcare providers such as registered childminders, nurseries and nannies, registered breakfast, after-school clubs and playschemes, holiday schemes, registered schools and home care workers working for a registered home care agency.

To be eligible for tax free childcare, a parent (or parents) normally need to:

  • be working and have children under 12 or under 17 if your child has a disability. Note that they stop being eligible on 1st September after the child’s 11th birthday. 
  • earn at least £139.52 per week on average each.
  • have no more than £100,000 net income per year, per parent.

15 to 30 hours of free childcare

All three and four-year-olds in the UK are entitled to some free early education or childcare. These free hours can be used at registered childcare providers like those mentioned above.

You can use tax-free childcare at the same time as using 15 hours or 30 hours free childcare.

To find out if you are eligible for up to 30 hours of free childcare, click here.

To check the other childcare help that can be made available to you, including further information on tax credits and Universal Credits, use the below two links. 

Check what help you could get with childcare costs

Childcare choices 

Schools and Education:

We’ve written a comprehensive guide on schools and education in the UK, including how to apply for schools in your area. Click here to view this

What to do next

We would recommend that you carefully read through the options above and the websites links that we have provided to ensure that you are fully aware of your options. Naturally, if you require any further information on your childcare options, or you have any questions around the topics mentioned in this article, contact our team today by clicking here.


If you are interested in working in the UK, want to discuss available job opportunities or may have already begun your journey and need further advice, please contact our team today.