Nurseries are to be subject to surprise inspections under
changes announced by inspection body Ofsted.
Nurseries are currently told what month their inspection will
take place, but from April 2005 they will not be given any advanced
warning of when the inspectors will arrive.
Childminders are also to receive less notice. Instead of the 4-6
weeks notice they currently receive, they will be called a few days
before the planned visit to make sure they will be in.
Child care settings are to be graded as outstanding, good,
satisfactory or inadequate – the same gradings that schools
The changes follow a consultation on the future of early years
inspection, which received 281 responses, mainly from parents and
child care professionals.