Finding childcare in Oxford
The University of Oxford offers a comprehensive childcare service for eligible staff and student parents, with more nursery places available than any other Russell Group institution. There are five University nurseries: Bradmore Road, Mansion House, Jack Straws Lane, Woodstock Road, and the Triangle Nursery. The University also offers places at nine community nurseries across Oxfordshire. Please be aware that demand for the University’s nursery provision is high and there may be a long waiting list.
Some of the colleges run their own nurseries (Balliol, Somerville, St Anne’s, St John’s and Wolfson colleges). Applications from college members will be given priority, but the college nurseries accept applications from members of other colleges.
There are many other childcare providers and just under 50 nurseries in and around Oxford. You can search the Oxfordshire County Council website for childcare providers based on your location.
University staff can register with My Family Care to access childcare for emergencies or school holiday cover. They can also benefit from discounted rates with Oxford sitters, a local company which provides fully-vetted childcare professionals for evening and weekend babysitting.
Childcare costs and sources of funding
Costs of pre-school childcare will vary depending on the type of childcare and provider (nanny, childminder, nursery).
University nursery fees
Check the current fees for University nursery places
The University offers a salary sacrifice scheme (subject to eligibility). All children are eligible for 15 hours per week of Nursery Education Funding, for 38 weeks of the year, from the term after their third birthday. Please contact the specific childcare provider for details, or see the Local Authority information on free early education for three-to-four year olds. Some families may qualify for up to 30 hours per child per week, and/or for free early education for two-year-olds. Information on paying for childcare can be found on the Childcare Services website, or the Childcare Choices website allows you to check your eligibility and find the best option.
Children's centres and toddler groups
If you decide not to use a formal childcare provider, there are many ways you can meet other children
- Toddler groups cover music education, creative sessions, physical exercise and many other activities
- The Oxford University Newcomers’ Club organises a parent and toddler group where you can meet other Newcomers and find lots of helpful advice about living in Oxford with children (please register with the Newcomers' Club before attending this group)
- Oxfordshire Children’s Centres are a great free way to interact with others
- Community Centres offer group activities, social support, and public information. Some offer short-term learning courses at affordable prices.
You also might like to have a look at these additional childcare providers that the University has links with. Netmums and Daily Info can be useful for finding local information on activities, playgroups, parenting support and much more.
Disclaimer: Please note that the University does not endorse any of the external websites listed above, or elsewhere in this guidance