Our Children's Service Directory (CSD) provides a wide range of information on services, childcare, activities and events for you or your family. In fact there is so much information to be found here you may need some extra help on how to find exactly what you want. This brief guide will help you make the most of our website.
In this guide we will cover:
There are three main ways you can search for information.
'Find a Service' - the red highlighted box found at the top right hand side can be used to find listings by using search terms. In other words, it will bring up any listings on the site that contain the word or words you are searching for, in either the title or the main details section.
Example - you want to know what services may be available to your child who is being bullied. If you type bullying into the 'Find A Service' box it will bring back all records that have the word bullying in either the title or main details.
Using speech marks (") around your search terms brings back only results that contain those words as an exact phrase. This is useful if you know precisely what you are looking for, or know the title of a specific listing.
Example - "speech and language" or "find a doctor"
'In postcode or location' - the other red highlighted box found at the top right hand side allows you to search for listings that are close to your home postcode or another postcode or area that you want to look at.
If you search using a postcode, you need to include the space. For example M41 7BL and not M417BL.
If you type a postcode into the 'In postcode or location' box it will bring back all listings within a 1 mile radius of that postcode, starting with the closest first. It also lets you know how far away the service or activity is from the postcode.
Example - You want to find a childminder that lives near to you. Put your home postcode into the box. This will bring up everything - all services, activities, childcare or events taking place within a one mile radius of your home address. To find out about childminders only, you can use a further filter.
The home page has red buttons that relate to nine main categories of information. You can search for things directly from there.
Once you have clicked on a main category, on the left hand side you will see all the subcategories available to you under 'Narrow Your Results'. You can also use filters to help refine your search results.
Example - You want to find a childminder near to your address. You search using your postcode and you now have everything showing that is within a mile of where you live. Under 'Narrow Your Results' you can click on 'Childcare' to refine your search results so only records in the childcare category are shown. You will now see another list of sub categories . In this case, all different types of childcare that are available. You can select 'Childminder' and that will filter your results to show all childminders in a mile radius of your home postcode.
The site will also display filters for different types of listings to show things that are useful to you.
Example - The Childcare category has the option to filter even further down to only show providers that pick up from certain schools.
Clicking through the website and using these filters will help you be able to find what you are looking for. Common filters are:
the first part of a postcode (postal area)
Sorting your results can help you further in locating the information you need, or for arranging them into order for a shortlist. There are three ways to sort your results, and these options will show up just above your list of results.
The first two sorts are available to you whenever you have any list of records showing, the third filter of Distance however only shows up after putting in a full postode in the 'In Postcode or Location' box.
Example - You want to find Parent and Toddler Groups within a 5 mile radius of your home and have them sorted in alphabetical order. To do this, enter your home postcode in the 'In Postcode or Location' box, then change the 'Search Radius' filter from the default of a 1 mile radius to 5 mile radius. To sort, click on the 'Sorted By - Title' link. You can then filter down as you did above by using the category 'Activities' and the subcategory 'Parent and Toddler Groups'
You can add any services, activities or events to your own personal shortlist, which is very similar to selecting goods and putting them in a basket when buying from an online shop. You can then either print this shortlist off so you have a paper copy to refer to, or you can email it to yourself or anybody else you think may want the information - provided you have their email address, of course.
You have two options:
1) Above your search results there is an 'Add All to Shortlist' button. If you click on this it will add all the results on that page to your shortlist. If you have more than one page, move to the next one and continue as necessary.
2) On a specific listing, next to the title, there is a button to add just that one service, activity or event to your shortlist. That way you can pick and choose from your results, building up a shortlist of information about things you want.
To remove anything from a shortlist, click on the 'Remove From Shortlist' button.
When you have finished making your shortlist, click on Your Shortlist to see all the results you have chosen. You can display a short version or a detailed version of the shortlist by clicking the appropriate button then either email or print your results.
Your shortlist information is stored in a temporary part of your browser, so if you close down your browser, the shortlist will be cleared. You can also clear the shortlist at anytime by going to the shortlist and selecting 'Clear shortlist' from the onscreen options.
We hope you found this Guide useful. If you are still having difficulties or can't find something specific you know is on in Trafford, feel free to contact us and let us know.