Childcare types

If you are looking for childcare or an early education place for your child - we can help. We hold information on all registered childcare in Bedford Borough including:


Registered childminders work in their own homes caring for other people’s children. Childminders provide full or part time care. This might be day care, before/after school and/or holiday care. Childminders are often prepared to take and collect your child from pre-school, nursery or school. 

Day nurseries

Day nurseries offer care for children under five years old, however not all nurseries have the facility to take babies. They provide fun and learning opportunities on a full or part-time basis and are usually open all year. 

Pre-schools and playgroups

Pre-schools and playgroups are for young children to learn and play in small groups, often close to their homes. Pre-schools / playgroups provide sessional care for children aged 2½ - 5 years (some pre-schools take from 2 years), sessions are about 3 hours in a morning or afternoon during term time. Some pre-schools are now offering extended sessions or lunch clubs.

Local authority maintained nursery schools and classes

Local authorities provide pre-school education in the form of nursery schools and nursery classes. A nursery school is a separate school whilst a nursery class is part of an existing lower or primary school.

Out of schools clubs and holiday schemes

Out of school clubs and holiday schemes provide care for children outside of normal school hours to play, relax and have fun in groups. Schemes can provide care before and after school and all day during school holidays (this will vary from one facility to the next).

We can help parents / carers make the right childcare choices by providing one to one support, advice and guidance on the different childcare options available to them either face to face or over the telephone.

For more information you can visit Best Start Bedford Borough which offers information and support for expectant parents and families with babies and children up to the age of 5 years. Or go to to find childcare in your local area.

If you are unable to find what you need and require further help, please call 0800 023 2057.