Did you know that Ofsted has a Facebook page for registered and prospective childminders and nannies? If not, it’s worth following us.
We know that childcarers use Facebook a lot. Ofsted’s page has proved popular and we now have over 5,000 followers. Our page helps childminders to connect with other childminders, share ideas and talk about the challenges and rewards of the job. There are many groups on the site where people support and help each other.
One user told us, ‘The Ofsted Facebook is the BEST thing...so helpful, answers so many questions and makes things so much easier.’
People ask us about many issues, including the process of childminder registration and inspection. We aim for the page to help answer your general questions and explain our processes for registering and inspecting childcare providers. You can post your queries and we will get back to you, either by answering you or pointing you in the right direction.
We cannot answer questions about your individual application or registration on the Facebook page. You can always email about this and get help with the process, but we hope our new online registration process is making this much simpler.
Tackling myths and sharing the facts
We use the page to gather feedback on what you find useful and see your responses to announced changes. If people are raising questions regularly, the Facebook page is one place you may find answers. We check the site to see what your interests and concerns are. If we see that inaccurate information is being shared, we’ll let you know the facts. We also look at PACEY’s website and others, like the Childminding Forum and Mumsnet, to keep an eye out for hot topics.
For example, we noticed recently that there was a myth circulating about the inspection of settings who take children with English as an additional language. We set the record straight on Facebook.
Ofsted’s answer to the query
We told our Facebook followers that the EYFS requires settings to teach children in English, as well as giving them opportunities to develop their home language in learning and play. Inspectors will look at how providers encourage children to use their own language alongside English. How are they using their home language in play and learning? In what way is English language development supported? And how do providers do all this when they may not speak the child’s home language?
When we inspect, we will look at what reasonable steps the provider takes to make sure that children develop and use their home language in play and learning to support their language development at home. Inspectors will want to find out how providers help children to gain a good grasp of English so that they’re ready to benefit from what school has to offer later on. For example, inspectors will want to see how providers value and encourage the child’s own language alongside supporting children’s developing skills in English.
Inspectors will look at all aspects of provision. Before reaching a judgement, they’ll look at how the provider balances the requirements of the EYFS. When they reach their decision, it’s based on everything they see and inspect, not one element.
Our Facebook page gives us a direct dialogue with registered childminders and nannies. I would encourage others to join the conversation.
You can follow Ofsted’s Facebook here.