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Ofsted letter and meeting

Last week PACEY met with Ofsted’s Director and Deputy Director of Early Education, Nick Hudson and Gill Jones, to discuss some of the key issues facing childcare and understand Ofsted’s plans for the closing months of 2014. Both Nick and Gill are keen to work with PACEY and its members in future on topics such as the school ready debate and quality early years education for disadvantaged children; look out for a Q&A with Nick in The Childcare Professional magazine next year!

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw also responded last week to our complaint letter, which we sent in September in response to his comments about childminders in the Evening Standard. In a signed letter, Sir Michael  apologised for the upset he may have caused childminders, recognised that there are many who provide excellent quality care and education and said he was keen to see arrangements for childminders that help them improve.

He wrote "I apologise if the report of my comments in the recent London Evening Standard article has upset childminders. As I have explained in response to the childminders who wrote to me following this article, I had no wish to be disrespectful to them and I recognise that there are many who provide excellent quality care and education.

"I acknowledge the points you make in your letter about the isolation that childminders sometimes feel, given that they are working alone and often without the day to day support that other practitioners can access. That is why I am very keen to see arrangements that link childminders with other good-quality provision so that they can access support that will help them to improve further."

Sir Michael also recognised the flexibility that childminders offer working parents in terms of the pattern of care they offer.

Sir Michael has also agreed for Ofsted to meet some of our childminders, to observe their practice and hear their concerns.

PACEY will keep working to ensure your voice is heard with Ofsted at the highest level.

14/10/2014