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NEWS: Ofsted outlines new early years inspection arrangements

Building on their sector briefing Ofsted has today set out how it will introduce a new, more proportionate and flexible approach to inspecting nurseries and childminders going forward. One that will prioritise the inspection of providers rated less than good.

Once normal routine early years inspections resume, Ofsted will schedule inspections based on the most current risk assessment of the provision from its work as a regulator (including each provider’s previous judgement) in order to prioritise the re-inspection of the relatively small proportion of nurseries, pre-schools and childminders that are not yet good and those where there are significant concerns. Under the new arrangements, all early years providers will be inspected within a 6-year window from the date of their last inspection.

Some arrangements will remain unchanged, including:

  • Ofsted will aim to inspect all new childcare providers within 30 months of registration where possible. 
  • Childcare providers judged to require improvement will be inspected within a year.
  • Inadequate childcare provision will be inspected within six months.
  • If there are concerns about any childcare provider, Ofsted can use its regulatory powers between inspections, and bring forward an inspection following a risk assessment.

Liz Bayram, PACEY chief executive, said:
“PACEY has worked actively with Ofsted to help shape its thinking on how to move its inspections forward. We welcome their more proportionate approach which is similar to the inspection approaches they are taking for other education and social care providers. We will now work to support our members to prepare for this change as well as the temporary inspection arrangement in place during the pandemic.”

You can read the full press release here.