Flexible childcare

Flexible child careIf you work irregular hours, weekends or overnight, we have a list of childminders that can provide  childcare at short notice or outside of 'normal' office hours, so you can get high quality care for your children around the clock.

Charges for this service will be at the childminder's usual rate.

Find out information on:

How it works

All of the childminders:

  • are registered with Ofsted
  • are supported by a network coordinator who regularly assesses them
  • receive help and support if necessary
  • have to be either; quality assured through the Brent Children Come First (CCF) quality assurance scheme, or working towards achieving a quality assured grading
  • have to demonstrate to Brent that they can meet Quality Standard One, which requires that they take a professional approach to childminding.

Being in a childminding network also helps childminders to develop and improve the quality of service they offer. Joining a network gives the children they care for lots more opportunities and benefits too.

Services offered by the network

  • flexible services for parents working late nights or early mornings
  • some childminders provide an overnight service, so you can work shifts whilst maintaining your child's normal sleep routine.

Members of the flexible childminding pool will have to demonstrate to their coordinator how they have:

  • completed a written risk assessment and emergency evacuation plan that includes overnight care
  • ensured children are in sight or hearing at all times (this may be via a monitor)
  • informed Ofsted of any intention to provide overnight care
  • ensured each child has their own bedding and provided space for children under three to sleep on the same floor of the home as them
  • ensured they are able to be on the premises at all times whilst looking after the child

Flexible services for parents needing childcare at short notice

This service is aimed at parents needing childcare at short notice, for example in a family emergency or for a job interview.


How to use this service

You can find out about childminders in your local area, and whether they have vacancies, either through contacting us
or by visiting your nearest children's centre.

Once you have found a childminder, it is a good idea to register your child with a children's centre as well, so the childminder can access services like stay and play sessions. Stay and play groups are great for helping children get ready for school.

Joining a children's centre also gives you access to services such as job clubs and Citizens Advice, as well as Zumba and pamper sessions.

Helping your child get ready for childcare

Leaving your child with someone new is a big step for both of you. If you know you are starting to look for a new job this might be the time to start looking for childcare.

Plan the settling in period and visit the childminder before your child is due to start. Time spent at this stage is time well invested so you should stay with your child when you visit to help them settle in gradually.

Talk to them about the visit afterwards. It may be possible to visit a group of childminders at your local children's centre, you should phone ahead if you would like to explore this option.

Leaving your child

Once they have made friends with a grown up they trust, children are normally happy to say good bye to their parents and we think it is really important to help them get to know their childminder really well before they are left with them.
It's important to say goodbye properly before leaving, children can feel frightened if their mums or dads suddenly disappear.

Let them take their favourite toy, a photograph of you, or a belonging of yours to reassure them.