- Children and families
- Family Information Service
- FIS - how we can help
- FIS minimum standards
- Comments, compliments and complaints
- A child's point of view
- Carer and toddler groups
- Childcare options
- Out of school club or holiday playscheme?
- Choosing registered childminders
- Choosing Crèches
- Funding for 3 and 4 year olds
- Nannies, au-pairs, mother's helps and baby sitters
- Choosing Nurseries
- Childcare - unregistered
- Childcare - registered
- Choosing childcare for children with additional needs and/or disability
- Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 - Information for Ofsted registered childcare providers
- Job vacancies in childcare
FIS minimum standards
The principle role of FIS is to provide information to parents on the availability of all childcare provision.
The service also provides parents, carers, employers and children with information on leisure, library, education, youth and other London Borough of Bexley services as well as support groups, doctors, dentists, health clinics, training and many other relevant childcare services.
FIS statement of service
Bexley's FIS is dedicated to providing information and guidance on a full range of children's services to parents, carers, employers, professionals and children and young people from ages 0-19 years. This service is confidential, free of charge, reflects the diverse needs of the local community and is committed to equality of opportunity. The service also has direct access to London Borough of Bexley services such as education, leisure, libraries and strong links with the health service. The FIS has a team of qualified staff with specific, in-depth knowledge and experience of its sector. It is able to provide a brokerage service for people who may need a little more help. This maybe where a child has additional needs and may require extra help to find an appropriate setting.The service operates a dedicated telephone help line and can be accessed through text, email or the Web. The information provided is kept accurate and up to date.
The following information is available through the FIS and is provided within one normal working day where possible:
- Providers name and contact details
- Type of provision, including whether or not registered, age range and number of places catering for children of each age
- Ability to cater for children with special needs
- Cost of service
- Statement by the provider and a mini profile about themselves
- Provider's training/qualifications
- Date of last inspection by Ofsted
FIS provides impartial information, complies with the Data Protection Act and adheres to equal opportunities practices. Parents in particular are encouraged to access relevant advice in the following areas:
- How to choose a childcare provider
- The services offered by different types of childcare provider
- Training opportunities in child care across the borough
- Financial assistance that may be available
- The registration process and what to do if parents have concerns about providers
- Advice on other services such as education, leisure, health, parenting/family support
FIS maintains regular contact with local providers of childcare to ensure that they are happy about the accuracy and extent of information provided. Providers are able to correct information quickly and easily, or restrict the availability and sensitivity of information (eg. childminders address or informal registered childcare).
The FIS is an unbiased service, providing information, which encourages users to make informed choices on various forms of childcare without further signposting. Details are available on all registered providers and where possible, non-registered providers.
Updating core information
FIS works closely with providers ensuring that their vacancy details and information is regularly updated. FIS have regular contact with Ofsted to ensure that updated information is received as soon as possible. Changes of provider details are automatically updated. In the event of any form of complaint, provider details may be removed from the database dependant on the type of complaint and until further investigation. De-registered providers are removed from the database within one working day of notification.
FIS holds or is able to signpost enquirers to all neighbouring FIS's and support groups. It has links with private, voluntary and maintained sector providers in addition to local NHS groups, businesses and employers. Further details can be found in the Directory and map of services for children and families available as a link in the right hand menu.
FIS is sensitive to the needs and requirements of all who need to make use of the service. Information is provided free of charge and is available Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm. The FIS responds to all calls within one normal working day.
In addition FIS distributes leaflets and various publications on types of childcare available as well as information on which financial benefits may be available, at public access points and local events.
The FIS provides an an extensive outreach service and is available to attend events throughout the borough.
Publicity and marketing
In order to gain maximum publicity and marketing throughout the borough a combination of methods is used such as leaflets and posters displayed in various public locations. Feature articles in many publications in particular the Council's own magazine delivered free of charge to every household, also raise awareness of the service. FIS advertise through every child's Personal Child Health Record issued to all parents on the birth of their child. Publicity is also achieved by advertising in the red business directory, the local information section of the 'Yellow Pages' as well as through the 'Thompson Directory'.
Monitoring and evaluation
Profiles are regularly sent to users to gauge views on the level of service. Using this information the FIS constantly strives to improve the service.
Communication and liaison with key partners
FIS enhances the level of service provided by building effective relationships with relevant organisations including Jobcentre Plus, the NHS and local employers.
Please contact the FIS using the information provided on the right. We have also provided links to other helpful organisations.
- Family Information Services (FIS) Full details for Family Information Services (FIS)