All childcare in Wales provided for more than two hours a day for children (up to the age of 12) must be registered by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).

Support with costs may be available from Universal Credit, tax credits, tax free childcare, childcare vouchers and funded part-time places for three and four year olds.


Day care providers who work in their own homes caring for children, they’re also self-employed and set their own fee. They’re based in the community, meaning children can go to local playgroups/cylchoedd meithrin, parent and toddler groups, clubs or visit friends.

Childminders must have a registration certificate issued by CIW and a public liability insurance certificate. As well as being registered they’re also inspected by CIW, who check their suitability, home and everyone over the age of 16 living in the house.

They’re responsible for your child’s safety as well as their emotional and physical development. A mix of play and learning experiences should be provided inside and outside the home. They can offer flexible childcare, year round, full-time or part-time and outside school hours. They can look after up to 10 children of various ages at one time, so can care for siblings together.

Day nurseries

Provide childcare and early education for young children up to age five. They’re usually open from early morning to early evening, Monday to Friday, (some on Saturdays) all year round. They offer a caring, safe, stimulating environment either as full day care or part-time care for babies and pre-school children. Some may also provide care before and after school and in the holidays for children aged four to seven and sometimes older children too.

Day nurseries must have a registration certificate issued by CIW and are also inspected by them. They must also have a public liability insurance certificate and the appropriate food hygiene certificate. 

Most day nurseries have facilities to prepare food for the children in their care. They should produce at least a three week menu of quality food and provide snacks appropriate to the length of day the child attends.

Fees for day nurseries can vary. 

Playgroups/Cylch Meithrin

Cater mainly for children from two and a half to five years old, usually for two to three hours in the morning or afternoon and mainly during term time. They offer a safe and stimulating environment where children play, learn and socialise with each other.

Parents and carers are active in running playgroups and often join their management committees. Cylchoedd Meithrin are Welsh-medium playgroups which give children an opportunity to learn through play. Children from non-Welsh speaking families are welcome to attend and are able to benefit by becoming bilingual.

Wraparound care/Playgroup Plus/Cylchoedd Meithrin Plws

Often referred to as ‘Wraparound care’, this is offered by some providers as an extension to playgroup, cylch meithrin or Early Education or Foundation Phase Nursery provision, providing care for the other half of the school day. Groups may provide care for up to four hours.

Out of school club

Run before and after school, and in the holidays. They may be based at the school or in a community setting such as a sports centre. Where appropriate, clubs are registered and inspected by CIW and qualified or trained play staff supervise children, until they’re collected by their parents or carers.

Out of school clubs based in schools often have spaces for pupils from other schools. If your child’s school doesn’t have an out of school club it may be worth contacting another local club to ask if they could accommodate your child.