Choosing quality childcare

Salford Starting Life Well Service provides free information and advice about childcare services for children in Salford.

Salford has a wide range of quality childcare provision, Ofsted registered, which includes:

  • Day nurseries
  • Childminders
  • Pre-school playgroups
  • Out of school clubs

Childcare providers offer fully inclusive care for children with disability or additional needs. The local authority offers a wide range of support to providers who look after children with additional needs. The type of support available to providers is:

  • Bursary funding
  • Level 3 personalised payment
  • Disability Access Funding (DAF) (for children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Area Senco support in settings

You can search for childcare, remember not all childcare providers choose to have their services available to view online, so if you cannot find what you need please contact us at You can also call 0161 778 0384.

If you do not live in Salford or want to find childcare outside the Salford area search the Family and Childcare Trust finder.

How to choose quality childcare for your child

Most parents wonder what to look out for when they start looking for childcare. Ofsted, the childcare regulator inspects all registered providers, including schools and will grade their provision. Ofsted inspectors are using a four-point grading scale for each of the four key judgements they make and the overall effectiveness of the provision. The grades are:

  • Grade 1: outstanding
  • Grade 2: good
  • Grade 3: requires improvement 
  • Grade 4: inadequate

The Ofsted grade for all childcare settings is shown on our childcare search. We have produced a handy checklist to help you choose quality childcare that is available to download below.

The Family and Childcare Trust have also produced useful information on choosing quality childcare and they also provide information on choosing a registered childminder.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (2017) requires that parents and carers must be supplied with a short written summary of their child's development in the prime areas. This check is undertaken when the child is two years of age. It enables early identification of development needs so that additional support can be put into place.

Can't find suitable childcare?

If you are working, or studying or you are looking to return to work or study and have not been able to find childcare to suit your needs, please email your enquiry to You can also call 0161 778 0384.

Looking for other activities?

Use our service directory to get information on services and support available to you, such as Sure Start children's centres, holiday play schemes and sports activities. We also have a page dedicated to school holiday activities.

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

This page was last updated on 11 September 2019

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