Child care providers need more spot checks

Inspection body Ofsted should make more unannounced visits to
child care providers, the president of an association for early
years workers has recommended.

Knowing about an inspection in advance gave staff the
opportunity to change their practice in order to satisfy
inspectors, said Marion Dowling, president of voluntary
organisation Early Education – previously the British Association
for Early Childhood Education.

“There’s got to be more stringent regulation from Ofsted
and many more spot checks with no notice given,” she said.

There are 107,100 registered child care providers and last year
Ofsted made 3,500 unannounced inspection visits. Unannounced
inspections are carried out if Ofsted receives information
suggesting that standards are not being met.

Dowling was speaking in response to a BBC programme revealing
poor practice by staff in three nurseries. Undercover footage
showed young children being shouted at and roughly handled, as well
as unhygienic practices by the workers.

Dowling said that such events were unusual, but added that
parents needed to be more aware of what constituted a good

She advised parents to look at the relationships between the
adults as well as between the adults and children, and to look
closely at what the children were doing. She also recommended that
parents carried out their own spot checks.

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