Childcare and early education

Families use childcare for many reasons - to help you work, look for jobs, train or study or just take time out, and to help your child’s development.

In Wigan we have various types of childcare providers including childminders, school nurseries, pre schools, Out of school clubs and more, you can find these providers in your area using the menu on the left. 

Ofsted Registered Childminders

Registered childminders work in their own home, caring for other people's children. Regulated and inspected by Ofsted (in England) or CIW (in Wales), you can be sure that your childminder has the training, checks and credentials to give you peace of mind.

For full information on Ofsted Registered Childminders please visit pacey (professional association for childcare and early years) - Registered childminders


Agency Childminders

A childminder agency is an organisation that is able to register childminders in England. Introduced by the Department for Education in 2013, childminder agencies are obliged by law to:

  • ensure a childminder’s suitability, including, where appropriate their capacity to deliver the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
  • support the training and development of childminders
  • improve the quality of provision
  • monitor the standard of care provided by the childminders they register.

Childminders who are registered with a childminder agency will no longer be inspected by Ofsted. Instead, their performance will be assessed by their agency, which has a statutory duty to monitor the standard of care provided by the childminders it registers and improve the quality of provision. Each agency will have a different means of doing this, but it is likely agencies will carry out their own inspections of the childminders on their books.

For more information about Childminder Agency’s please visit pacey (professional association for childcare and early years) - Childminder agencies in England


Childminders must be registered with Ofsted or a Childminding Agency


Home Childcarer / Nanny / Au Pair

Individuals caring for children of no more than two families in the home of one of the children. Home childcarers may be referred to as  nannies.  Home Childcarer’s do not need to be registered with Ofsted but may choose to be on the Voluntary Childcare Register.


School Nurseries

School nurseries are early year’s provision on a school site usually managed by the school, but sometimes private, caring for children aged 3 and 4 years old. Some of our school nurseries care for 2 year olds - you can search for these using the filter. School nurseries usually operate during the school term only. 


Pre Schools

Pre schools are early year’s provision usually privately managed or voluntary caring for children aged 3 and 4 years old. Some of our pre schools care for 2 year olds- you can search for these using the filter. Pre schools usually operate during the school term only. 


Day Nurseries

Day nurseries usually care for children from 0-5 years from early in the morning till 6pm all year round.


School and Nursery Pickups 

Looking for a school or nursery that works with a childminder or out of school club offering wrap around childcare before and after the school day?  Select "school and nursery pickups" from the filter on the left and choose your school or nursery from the drop down to find a childcare provider.

 To find out more about the types of childcare plus what to look out for when visiting childcare settings, please click on the external links and  downloads to the right.


Useful information

Please note if you live in an area that boarders another local authority you may be interested in looking for childcare in:





Page last reviewed: 27/02/2023

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