Tips on choosing service provider
Please note - the services and groups on MyChoice have not been individually reviewed. It is your responsibility to check and understand what the company, individual or service provider offers to ensure you get the best service available.
When you want to choose a service provider the most important thing to consider is your personal safety and information. The tips included in these guides are to help you stay safe and get the right solution to meet your needs.
Choosing a childcare provider
Choosing care and support is a big step for you and your child and finding the right place can be a hard decision to make. The following tips can help you make your choice.
Draw up a shortlist of childcare providers
Think about what type of childcare provider will meet you and your child's needs. Take into account the hours and days care is required, where the childcare setting is located and what your budget is.
Research the childcare providers
Read the Ofsted reports, prospectus, references and any other literature that is available. Also talk to other parents to get feedback on their experience with the childcare providers.
Visit the childcare providers
Always visit the prospective childcare providers as this will help you to see if the setting is right for you and your child. It is a good idea to take your child with you to see how they respond to the setting and you should always go when other children are there so you can see how calm, happy and busy the children are.
Don't be afraid to ask the childcare provider questions as this will help you make your decision. The Questions to ask a childcare provider information sheet gives you a list of questions to ask the provider.
Make a decision
Only you can decide on which childcare provider is right for you and your child. The chosen childcare provider should meet your specific needs and any fees that are required should be within your budget.
You should feel confident that you are leaving your child with a provider who offers a safe environment with good opportunities to learn and play.
Only enter into a formal arrangement with a childcare provider if you are sure that it is right for you and your child and if you agree with the terms and conditions.
Choosing care or support provider
Choosing care or support provider is one the hardest decisions you will have to make, either for yourself, a friend or relative. The process can be a difficult and takes time, which is why we have suggested some of the most important things for you to consider to help you stay safe and get the right solution to meet your needs.
Think about what type of support would meet your needs
Think about what type of support will meet your needs. There is a wide range of support available to help you live independently in your own home, such as personal assistant, equipment and adaptations to your home. Alternatively you may consider moving into more suitable accommodation, such as care home.
Read the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports, prospectus, references and any other literature that is available. Also talk to other people to get feedback on their experience with the provider.
Visit and meet the providers
Try to visit the prospective support provider and if you choose to employ a personal assistant try to meet the person as this will help you to see if the support they offer is right for you and it will be a good indication of your future relationship.
Don't be afraid to ask the provider questions as this will help you make your decision. Spend some time to talk about your needs and wishes and find out how the provider is going to support you and how your support is going to be monitored and changed. Make sure to check the price and what it includes and have it confirmed in signed agreement. Check your rights to complain if something goes wrong and find out how you can end your agreement.
Learn some social care terminology
There is a lot of jargon in social care and support and you should familiarise yourself with a few key terms. Visit Think Local Act Personal website to learn most commonly used social care key terms and phrases.
Make a decision
Only you can decide on which provider is right for you. You should feel confident that the chosen provider will meet your specific needs and any fees that are required are within your budget. Only enter into a formal arrangement with a provider if you are sure that it is right for you and if you agree with the terms and conditions.
Further help and support
There are lots more information and guides available that can support your decision to choose the right care and support provider.
Information and guides about choosing care homes, making adaptations to your own home, and other useful documents are available on the AgeUK website.
Information and guides on choosing the right care and support to live independently in your own home are available on NHS Choices website.