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Childcare legislation changes in Wales

The Welsh Government has released a written response to the consultation on proposed changes to childcare regulation and registration in Wales. The key change in this is that from April 2016 the upper age limit for the registration of childcare provision will be extended from 8 to 12 years. Following this announcement Claire Protheroe, Direct Services Manager for PACEY Cymru met with CSSIW and other childcare and play colleagues to discuss the announced changes and below discusses these.

What changes are being made?

  1. From April 2016 the upper age limit for the registration of childcare provision will be extended from 8 to 12 years. If you are registered with CSSIW you should have received information from them on these changes. You can read more on this here
  1. From April 2016 CSSIW will be inspecting against their new Inspection Framework. Inspectors will spend more time talking to the registered provider and staff about their childcare service. Inspectors will also observe children and talk to older children about their experience of the childcare. The framework will place a greater emphasis on improving child development and wellbeing outcomes. It will have four core themes:
  • Well-being
  • Care and Development
  • Environment
  • Leadership and Management

The new inspection framework is available to view here

Those funded by the local authority for the education of 3- and 4-year-olds who are currently inspected by both Estyn and CSSIW will have one joint inspection moving forward in line with the above framework but also incorporating the themes of Learning and Teaching and Assessment

  1. From April 2016 childminders can choose to have their inspection reports published on CSSIW’s website to support marketing and promotion. This is on a voluntary basis so those who wish their setting details not to be published on the internet do not have to agree to this.

How will the changes to the upper age limit affect my ratios?

Welsh Government have now confirmed the new ratios for settings that will apply from April 2016.

  1. Childminders:

The maximum number of children you can look after will be 10 under the age of 12 years. It is important to note that this number includes your own children and other children you may look after but do not charge for.

  1. Day care settings:

The minimum ratios of staff for day care and/or play services (where relevant) that will be in place from April are as follows;

  • One adult to three children under 2 years
  • One adult to four  children aged  2 years
  • One adult to eight children aged 3-7 years
  • One adult to ten aged eight to 11 years 

For childminding and daycare settings the designated space available for children on your premises may affect the maximum number you can care for and Local Planning restrictions may also have an impact on this number.  Corresponding changes will be made to the National Minimum Standards to reflect the increased maximum numbers of children under 12 years.

What do I need to do in relation to caring for 8-12 year olds?

CSSIW have stated that they want to minimize any disruption to your business and will be supporting you to operate under these new arrangements.

There is further information available here specifically in relation to what action you must take as this depends on your type of settings, the service you currently provide and the service you will look to provide from April 2016.

Will this have an impact on planning requirements for childminders?

PACEY Cymru is working closely with Welsh Government and CSSIW to identify issues that are likely to arise. CSSIW have stated that Welsh Government Central Planning colleagues have sent out a circular to Local Planning Officers to notify them that they do not expect this change to have an impact on planning requirements for existing settings. Please contact if you have any local issues that we need to take forward.

How can I prepare for these changes?

When you complete the updated application for variation that CSSIW will send you in in early 2016 you will need to have considered the following and so you may want to start preparing the information required in relation to these to make sure all are in date and relevant.;

  • A valid Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate
  • You will need to check with your First Aid training provider that the certificate you hold covers children from birth to puberty if you are to be registered for children over the age of eight.  
  • You will need to check that your Public Liability insurance provides appropriate cover from 1st April 2016 for the full age ranges of the children you will be providing regulated care for. 
  • You will need to revise the following to ensure they are also relevant for older children between 8 and 12 years old if you are planning on caring for this age group.


  • Statement of Purpose
  • Child Protection and behaviour management policies and procedures
  • Complaints procedures
  • Floor plan of the area/s you wish to use as indoor space where childcare is provided.

How do I find out more?

CSSIW held regional events in November and December and the presentation from this events is available to view here

CSSIW have produced a list of frequently asked questions to provide further information and guidance

How is PACEY Cymru supporting members?

PACEY Cymru is working closely with Welsh Government and CSSIW to support a smooth transition into the new arrangements and further information will be shared as it is produced.

We will be delivering training and support on some key areas related to the changes in early 2016.  Information on these will be shared within the monthly enews letters.

If you have any comments or concerns that you would like PACEY Cymru to take forward contact or telephone 08458801299.

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