Inspection guide for childcare providers

Every  day nursery and childminder in England is to get guidance
from Ofsted on preparing for the new style inspections that take
effect in April.

The new inspection system follows the Early Years consultation,
which ended in September 2004. It will report on the
‘outcomes’ for children: on how effectively childcare
providers promote children’s health, keep them safe, help
them enjoy their development and learning, and encourage them to
contribute to their own development and that of others.

Under the new scheme, Ofsted will visit nurseries without
warning, but will give childminders a few days’ notice of an
inspection, to ensure they are in when the inspectors call.

There will be a grading scale of outstanding, good, satisfactory
and inadequate, which will also apply to nursery education for
three and four year olds, schools and colleges. Providers judged
‘inadequate’ will be divided into those with the
capacity to improve (who will be re-inspected within six to 12
months) and those whose improvement is deemed to need enforcement
action, who will be given a follow-up inspection after a maximum of
three months. In extreme circumstances the provider’s
registration will be cancelled.

The government is considering extending the maximum period
between inspections from two years to three for providers of both
childcare and education.

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