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Questions to ask your childcare professional

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Print this pagePACEY has produced a set of questions you might want to consider asking, when you go to visit a childcare setting you are considering for your child, you can print this page by clicking above.

How do you contribute to the care, learning and development of the children you care for?

  • Members of PACEY make a commitment to contribute to the care, learning and development of children through our Professional Standards.
  • Childminders and nursery workers should be well versed in the Early Years Foundation Stage in England and Foundation Phase in Wales.

How do you look after the physical health and wellbeing of the children you care for?

  • In order to deliver high standards of care for your children, childcare professionals should have an understanding of good health, nutrition and encourage physical activity for your children.

Do you have a valid paediatric first-aid certificate and DBS check?

  • Valid paediatric first-aid certificates and DBS checks are a minimum for anyone working in childcare. The first-aid certificate should be renewed every two years.

What qualifications do you have and have you undertaken any training or continuous professional development in the past two years?

Research consistently proves that the more qualified the childcarer, the higher quality the care your child receives.

  • If you are enrolling your child in a nursery ask about the qualification levels of the staff. As a minimum the leader should have a relevant Level 3 and over half the staff have Level 2, but the higher the better. In Wales the requirements are even higher.
  • If you are employing a nanny look for relevant Level 3 qualification. If the nanny doesn’t have this, ask how they develop their professional skills and keep up to date with best practice?
  • If you are employing a childminder ask about their relevant qualifications and ask how they keep up to date with best practice. PACEY believes childminders (who work on their own in their home-setting) should hold a relevant Level 3 qualification.

Are you Ofsted or CSSIW registered and (for a nanny) are you happy to be registered with my support?

  • Regulation and inspection has significantly improved the quality of childcare provided by childminders and nurseries. Nannies too can be Ofsted/CSSIW registered and the process of recognising the Core Common Skills of childcare and ensuring their paediatric first aid and DBS checks are up to date will all help to ensure a better quality of childcare.

And don’t forget to take time to think about your visit afterwards:

  • Did the setting make you feel welcome?
  • Is the environment reflective of diversity, including people with additional needs?
  • Do you feel confident that they will keep you informed and involved?
  • Is there a good range of activities and equipment available for the children?
  • Do other children appear to be settled and happy in the setting?
  • Did the childminder, nanny or nursery worker you met seem positive and caring about your child and others?

And read their latest Ofsted/CSSIW report and ask to take references from other parents who have used the setting.

* Some childminders registered before CRB or DBS checks became compulsory may have a police check instead. Ask the provider for details.

**For example the results of the Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE) study from England have shown that key explanatory factors for high-quality childcare were related to “staff with higher qualifications, staff with leadership skills and long-serving staff; trained staff working alongside and supporting less qualified staff; staff with a good understanding of child development and learning” (Siraj-Blatchford, 2010).


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