Find Early Years and Childcare Providers in Essex

The Essex Family Information Service has a full list of early years and childcare providers. To search for a childcare provider near you, please click this link: Early Years and Childcare Providers.

This will also tell you about local Family Hubs, baby and toddler groups, after school clubs, breakfast clubs and holiday clubs.

All early years and childcare settings have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 and the SEND Code of Practice 2014 to be inclusive and meet the needs of children with SEND.

Types of providers

Pre-schools and nursery schools

These offer play and early education for children under five years old. This is sessional care usually provided during term time for children aged between two and five years old. They are registered by Ofsted.

Day nurseries

These provide full or part-time care and early education for babies and children up to the age of five. Some may also offer care for older children before/after school and in the holiday period. They are usually open from 8am to 6pm and generally operate all year, including school holidays. They are registered by Ofsted.


Childminders provide care for babies and children of all ages, usually in their own home. They often offer flexible hours while providing a wide range of learning opportunities in and out of the home. They are registered by Ofsted.

Out-of-school clubs

These provide care and activities to fit around school hours. They are registered and inspected by Ofsted for children up to eight years old, but can also care for children over eight. Out-of-school care includes breakfast clubs, after-school clubs (usually open between 3pm and 6pm) and holiday play schemes which are provided during school holidays.


These provide occasional care for children under eight years old. Some care for children while parents are busy doing activities, such as shopping or sport. Others are provided on a temporary basis, running alongside a one-off event.

Find information on early years and childcare funding in the Money Matters section of the website.

Visit the Find Early Years and Childcare Providers in Essex website