Skip to content

  Give feedback Menu  Close 

It’s vital that parents of children with SEND are able to access regular childcare and wraparound care options so that they can work or take essential breaks to re-charge.

All childcare providers should offer places to children with SEND and will make adjustments to help your child. The type of childcare you choose depends on your family’s individual needs and the age of your child.

Back to top

Types of childcare

For early years (0-5) children

  • Day nurseries - Often nurseries offer provision suitable to full time working parents across the hours of 7am-7pm. Your child will be cared for within a group of other children.
  • Preschools - similar to day nurseries however with more limited hours. Preschools will often offer morning or afternoon sessions and conform to school hours (9-3pm). Many primary schools now have preschools attached to them, so be sure to check your local school.  
  • Employing a nanny - This is someone who is employed to care for your child within your home. You might consider looking into private nanny agencies or using childcare websites.
  • Childminders - A person who works from their own home where your child would be cared for. Childminders often care for a small group of children at the same time.
Back to top

Funding opportunities for childcare (ages 2 - 5)

Funding for 2 year olds

Your 2 year old can get 570 hours free early education a year from the term after they turn 2, if they:

  • have an education, health and care plan
  • get disability living allowance.

Read the full criteria

Free childcare for 3 - 4 year olds

15 hours free early education for all 3 and 4 year olds

All 3 and 4 year olds can get 15 hours free early education (570 hours per year). You can use these from the term after your child turns 3.

Use your 15 free hours with a school nursery, childminder, day nursery or pre-school. Contact them about place availability and when your child can start.

30 hours free childcare for some 3 and 4 year olds

Some 3 and 4 year olds can get an extra 15 hours childcare. This is known as 30 hours free childcare. If your child is aged 3 - 4 years old, you may be eligible for 30 hours free childcare funding if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:

  • in work
  • on sick leave or annual leave
  • on parental, maternity paternity or adoption leave

If you’re on parental leave, you cannot apply for the child you’re on leave for.

If you are not currently working

You may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get one of the following:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance.

Read more about 30 hours childcare on

You can only use your free hours with a registered childcare provider, and the free hours stop when your child starts reception class, meaning that 30 hours childcare can't be used to pay for wraparound care.

Some childminders or nannies that are registered childcare providers will accept free childcare hours, however, not all of them will. Keep this in mind when looking for a suitable childcare provider.

You might be able to get other help with paying for childcare, such as tax credits or support if you are studying. Read more about help paying for childcare.

Back to top

Wraparound care

For children of school age who attend school full time, you may want some hours of childcare before and after the school day, to enable you to work and give you time to commute. This is called wraparound care.

Many primary schools will have their own breakfast and afterschool clubs that are run on the school premises. Check your school's website for more information.

It’s important to consider that some schools may not be able to offer what you need depending on your child’s special education needs or disability. You may need to look further than your child’s school or at different options.

Wraparound care can also be provided by some nannies who are willing to work part-time hours, or childminders in your local area. Keep in mind that some childminders and nannies only serve specific schools, and may not be willing to travel too far.

Back to top

Find childcare

For children and young people of any age, you may occasionally want someone who can care for your child for an evening or a day.

  • You can hire a personal assistant or nanny for your child, from providers like Snap Care, who specialise in working with children with additional needs.
  • Find a childminder who can stay with your child in your own home. The Hertfordshire Directory has information on lots of local childminders, and the option to search for childcare providers who will work with children with additional needs. All providers on the Directory are Ofsted registered.

Back to top

Choosing the right provider

Whatever childcare option you choose however it's important to check whether they are a registered childcare provider, hold up to date Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) certificates, and have the appropriate first aid skills and accreditation.

  1. Always ask to see their Disclosure and Disbarring Certificate (DBS) and take a copy of this for your records.
  2. We always recommend visiting the childcare provider, to see how the staff interact with children.
  3. Ask the provider for an Ofsted report, if available. Ofsted inspects providers regularly to make sure every staff member is suitable to work with children.
  4. When you visit, you may want to ask about:
  • if your child has a physical need, that the building has the right facilities for their need
  • are staff trained to work with children with their particular learning needs
  • settling in periods
  • daily routine
  • fee payment arrangements
  • staff turnover
  • communication between parents and staff
  • contents of any contract that's been signed.

Email if you have any queries.

Back to top

Short breaks

Short breaks offer disabled children and young people the chance to spend time out with others socialising and doing fun activities, giving their families a break and providing them with the confidence their child is well supported by a trained worker.

You can get up to 40 hours of activities, if your child:

  • is aged between 5 - 19
  • receives a middle or higher rate disability living allowance (DLA) or personal independence payment (PIP)
  • has a letter from your GP, your school’s special educational needs co-coordinator or another professional, confirming that your need means you require access to targeted services for disabled children and young people.

Go to our Short Breaks information.

Page was last updated on: 21/04/2020 08:42:50


Like many other websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer.

Why do we use cookies?

To remember your settings, for example your language and location. This means you don’t have to keep entering these details when you visit a new page.

To find out how you use the site to help us update and improve it.

How do I change my cookie settings?

You can change the settings of your web browser so that it won’t accept cookies. For more information visit

But, doing this may stop you from using some of the online features and services on this website. 

Cookies we use

Cookies do a lot of different jobs, and we use 2 types of cookies:

Required functionality cookies – these cookies are essential for the website to work.

Performance and feature cookies – these cookies help to improve the performance and feel of this website, for example providing you with personalised services.

Take a look at a list of cookies we use on our website:

NameTypeHow we use itHow long we use the information for



Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.



Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.


Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years


Performance and feature

To save the pages that you visit by clicking the heart at the top of the page. 

1 month


Performance and feature

This stores your postcode (or partial postcode) when we ask you for your location.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).


Performance and feature

This stores your location as a pair of latitude / longitude coordinates.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).


Performance and feature

This keeps a history of all answers submitted to the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.


Performance and feature

This keeps a history of what content cards are clicked on when using the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.


Required functionality

This used to track user sessions on forms hosted on

Just for the time you are on our website.

Third party cookies

There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

Below are a list of cookies that the other sites and services use:

Service namePurposeMore information

Google analytics (_utma/b/c/z)

These are used to compile reports for us on how people use this site.

Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

Visit the Google Analytics website for more information about the cookies they use.

You can prevent data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing Google's Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Google Translation - googtrans

This cookie is used to remember which language to translate each page into if you have chosen to do so.

It expires at the end of your browser session.


We use a Bing cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Bing to find out more about their cookies.


We use a Google cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Google to find out more about their cookies.


We have a number of presences on Facebook, which we may link to. Facebook may set some of its own cookies if you follow these links.

Visit Facebook to find out more about their cookies.


We have a number of presences and feeds on Twitter, which you may wish to follow or read from this website. Twitter may set some of its own cookies.

Visit Twitter to find out more about their cookies.


We have a YouTube channel, which we may link to. YouTube may set some of its own cookies if you follow those links.

Visit YouTube to find out more about their cookies.


This ASP.NET_Sessionid cookie is essential for the Netloan secure online payments website to work, and is set when you arrive to the site. This cookie is deleted when you close your browser.



This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.

Visit HotJar to find out more about their cookies.


These cookies are set to help us report on how people are using the site so we can improve it.

Visit Siteimprove to learn more about their cookies.