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What kind of childcare is there?



Girlwater Leam Lane
Leam Lane Children's Centre

There are several different types of childcare in Gateshead. You need to decide what is right for you and your child, what will fit in with your life.

Day Nursery

Day nurseries provide care for under fives weekdays – from around 7.30/ 8am to 6pm. Children can attend part time or full time depending on their parents' needs. Nurseries remain open all year round, unlike nursery schools that run on a term-time basis.

Children’s free education entitlement can be used at Day Nurseries, any additional hours will be charged for.

Pre Schools and Playgroups

Pre-schools and playgroups provide care for less than four hours per session for children between two and five years old. They aim to provide learning through structured play. Children’s free education entitlement can be used at pre schools and playgroups with any additional hours charged for.

Nursery classes in schools

Some schools offer classes for children over the age of two during term time and within school hours. They will be regularly inspected by Ofsted school inspectors.


Childminders look after under-fives at any time and school-aged children outside school hours and in the school holidays, usually at the childminder's home. They are:

  • self-employed
  • normally paid by the hour, at their own rate
  •  registered with the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
  • regularly inspected.


Creches provide childcare, usually for short periods of time while parents do other things, for example shopping, sporting activities and educational classes. They are inspected and registered by Ofsted if they offer care for more than two hours on more than five days per year.

Breakfast Club

A breakfast club provides care and breakfast for school age children often on a school site and is sometimes available for children who attend the school nursery. Breakfast clubs usually operate from 7.45am until school opening time and are open term time only.

After school club

After-school clubs are much the same as breakfast clubs but take place after school hours until around 6pm, they are either themed for example gymnastics, languages and homework clubs or are free play, starting at the end of the school day until approx 6pm. The venues are mixed, some take place on school premises, however, some have their own premises. Those who have their own site often pick up children from local schools.

School holiday schemes

School holiday schemes are well used in Gateshead to provide childcare for parents who work whilst the schools are on holiday. They provide care for children of various ages (3yrs to 14yrs) and take place at a number of venues, usually operating between 8am and 6pm.

To search our online database for any of the above childcare select here.







Contact Us

Gateshead Families Information Service 
Civic Centre
Regent Street

0191 433 5118

Gateshead Families Information Service, Gateshead Civic Centre

Regent Street



Tel: 0191 433 5118