Following the concerns that PACEY raised last year with Ofsted about the delays being experienced by people trying to register as childminders in England, we have now received an update from the regulator. They explain that they are catching up on applications after their ICT problems over the summer.
Ofsted says that there are now no childminder applications older than 8 February 2019 waiting to go on to their new system. Once an application is accepted on to the system the usual timeframes for processing now apply.
Here is their full update:
"In July 2018, we moved our early years inspection and regulatory activity to a new IT system that was already supporting the work of other remits. As a result, we had to pause the processing of new applications for two weeks to support the transition. We told the sector about this pause in an Ofsted news story and through the early years national consultative forum. This was a large scale change in our IT systems. We also encountered some further technical issues which, resulted in additional delays in processing new applications.
"We acknowledge that there have been challenges since the new IT system went live, but these are now resolved. However, this has resulted in some delays for childminder applicants. We are working hard to resolve this and get back to normal timeframes as quickly as possible.
"Before we moved to the new system, the average time to register for childminder applicants was eight weeks. Childminder applications received during the changeover of IT systems have taken longer than we would like, with some applications exceeding 16 weeks. There remains a delay for some applications received during the transition period and these applications are our primary focus. Currently, there are no childminder forms older than Friday 8th February waiting for our administrators to accept onto the IT system for processing. Once on the system then the usual timescales apply. Childminder applications continue to be a high priority for our administration team."
Support for registration
If you're in the process of registering as a childminder, make sure to join First Steps to Childminding. A Facebook group run by PACEY to support those registering.
PACEY also recommends pre-registration training, and offers a discount for those who've studied through The Childcare Company and PACEY on your first year's membership.