Registration delays prevent childminders starting work

Thousands of new childminders are being prevented from starting
work because of delays in the registration process carried out by
schools watchdog Ofsted, writes Derren

New figures show there is such a backlog of applications for new
and existing childminders that many are concerned Ofsted will
struggle to register them all by the deadline of April next

Early Years: Early Days, Ofsted’s review of its first year
of handling childcare inspections, reveals that 13,000 out of a
total of 28,000 new childminder applications have still to be

It is currently taking Ofsted six months to carry out police
checks and pre-registration inspections on new childminders. By
April 2003 it will have to turn around 70 per cent of applications
within three months.

The registrations of around half the 105,000 existing
childminders have transferred from local authorities to Ofsted.
However, Ofsted needs to carry out unannounced inspections on the
remainder of providers within the next six months if it is to meet
its target.

Ofsted blames the delays on problems at the Criminal Records
Bureau, applicants filling in forms incorrectly and teething
problems with its IT system.

Early Years: Early Days from

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