Nurseries may be subject to the unannounced inspections already
made on schools, under proposals published by the education
The plans, which are out to public consultation until September
30, propose to carry out inspections of group childcare and funded
nursery education at little or no notice.
For childminders, Ofsted wishes to establish the minimum period
of notice necessary to establish whether they will be home when an
Ofsted is considering introducing simple self-evaluation forms,
which childcare and nursery providers would fill in prior to
The inspectorate says it plans to focus inspection reports on
children’s experiences of the setting, and to tailor its
inspections to individual providers.
Reports where the care is judged “inadequate” could
be made longer than those where there were no concerns.
Ofsted is considering whether accreditation under the
“Investors in Children” scheme might be taken into
account when deciding the frequency and length of inspections.
Another proposal is to link the early years and nursery grading
scales to scales used for school staff, to create a common grading
scale for all children’s services.
Chief Inspector of Schools David Bell said the proposals were
“vital” at a time when the Children’s Bill plans
to integrate children’s services, and the Government aims to
build Children’s Centres and to extend school hours.
“Inspection bodies need to reflect as much as possible the
integration of childcare provision,” he said.
Details of the consultation can be found at: