Early Years 0-5

FIS childcare icon - mother and baby


On this page you can find information about childcare, children's centres and where to get support throughout your children's early years. Our childcare directory lists all registered  providers in the city that you can find on this page too. 

We have put this page together to help you understand your childcare options. We understand that there are a few extra things to think about when planning childcare if your child has any Special Educational Needs or Disabilities. Some pieces of information such as training or attending to your child's medical needs are so important it may put you off even looking into childcare options. This is your choice as a parent and you know what is best for them. We hope that having a read of this page may help you understand what you are entitled to, and how we can help.

Where to find childcare?

Using childcare can have huge benefits for children within their learning and development. For you as a parent using good quality childcare means you can have that time back to work or just have a break.

To find childcare options that are available in Derby please search our Childcare Directory to find childcare near you. If you cannot find details of a childcare provider please do let us know, you can find our contact details at the bottom of this webpage. 

Having trouble finding childcare?

You may find that finding the most suitable childcare for you is difficult for some reason such as:

  • Your child has specialist requirements for childcare due to their Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.
  • You require childcare out of regular school hours or in holiday times.
  • You require before or after school collections from a specific school.
  • There is a limited amount of childcare in your area and there are no spaces available.

The Families Information Service provide a free Brokerage Service that can support parents/carers who are struggling to find suitable childcare. 

How much will childcare cost?

There are a number of options that can help with paying the cost of childcare for your child.

Free Childcare for Two Year Olds  - The term after a child turns two they may be eligible for 15 hours a week of free childcare based on the family income. If the child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) they will be eligible for that reason alone. 

Free Childcare for Three and Four Year Olds - The term after a child turns 3, they are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare, this is a universal offer and there is no criteria to meet. Children can use their free childcare with a registered provider such as:

  • Childminders
  • Day nursery
  • Pre school 
  • Play group
  • School nurseries

For more options on paying for childcare, visit our website that highlights all of your options.

Children's centres

Derby has many children's centres across the city offering support in children's early life ages 0 to 5 years.

Children’s centres also work closely with other early years settings, offering training and support to improve childcare services. 

For more information about Derby's children’s centres, please contact Derby Family Information Service on 01332 640758 or visit the children's centre page.

Health visitors

You will have been in contact with a health visitor at some point if you have had a child. They support all families with children from pregnancy to starting school. The health visiting teams are based in children’s centres or NHS health clinics.

They help with:

  • parenting support
  • keeping little ones healthy
  • advice
  • referrals to other services if you have concerns
  • working with GPs, midwives, health and social care professionals. 

 Search the health directories to find out how to contact a health visitor or visit a health clinic. 

Advice and support for parents

Your child's early years are a very important time for their physical, emotional, and social development. If you are worried there is a problem you should get advice straightaway. If your child is not yet at school or going to an early education setting, you can talk to your doctor or health visitor who will be able to give you advice. 

You may also want to talk to: 

  • Derby SEND Information Advice and Support Service provides free, legally-based impartial,confidential and accessible information, advice and support for children,young people and parents/carers covering Special Educational Needs(SEN), Disabilities, Health and Social Care.

Where else to get help?

All childcare providers have a special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) coordinator. They will talk to you about your child’s needs and how the setting can support them. It's their responsibility to coordinate support for your child in the setting and to work alongside other professionals. SENCO's should ensure that all the needs of your child are planned for in advance and that you are kept informed with all decisions.

Other teams you may find useful include:

The Specialist Teaching and Psychology Service (STePS) is made up of three teams:

  • Early Intervention Team
  • Advisory Teachers Team
  • Educational Psychologists


SEND Funding for Early Years Providers

The Early Years Inclusion Fund for children with SEND from April 2018 to March 2019 planned value is £250,000.

This fund has been set up to support children with special educational needs and disabilities in the early years.

The new fund will start from April 2018 and replaces the SEND Grant. Requests already received for funding from the SEND Grant for April 2018 will be considered on the original request forms. Requests from April 2018 for funding from the Early Years Inclusion Fund must be on the new referral form and follow the April 2018 criteria.

The 'My Support Plan' information mentioned in the criteria and request form is being developed and information will be shared by August 2018.

Please read all documents and replace criteria and request forms that you may currently have saved with the new Early Years Inclusion Fund information.

The eligibility criteria and process for the distribution of the fund during the financial year 2018 to 2019 is below.

Help us back these pages better

We are always wanting your feedback to improve the Local Offer: 


Contact details

Post address:
The Council House, Corporation Street, Derby DE1 2FS
Phone: 01332 640758

Families Information Team

The Council House

Corporation Street