Inspections in England

Childminders in England are registered and inspected by Ofsted – the same body responsible for inspecting schools. All childminders registered on Ofsted's Early Years Register are inspected against the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Childminders are inspected at least once every three years to ensure the quality of the care they are providing. Inspectors visit the childminder and check that their home is safe and secure.

The inspector assesses the provider on three key areas of their provision:

  • how well their provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend
  • how well they identify any particular needs children may have and arrange appropriate help
  • the contribution practitioners make to the well-being of children and the effectiveness of leadership and management.

In particular, inspection will consider the extent to which all children are supported to acquire the skills and capacity to develop and learn effectively and be ready for the next stages in their learning, especially school.

Childminders in England are registered on one or both parts of the Childcare Register. They must therefore meet the requirements of one or both parts of the register at all times when providing childcare.

Ofsted will normally only inspect a childminder's setting when they are caring for children. If the inspection is on a day when you don't have children with you, it is unlikely you will get a top grade, as the inspector takes into account the views and experience of the children and their families.

From September 2015, childminders in England, alongside all other registered providers, will be inspected against the new Common Inspection Framework. Read the new handbook here. Below, Ofsted's National Director for Early Years, Nick Hudson, outlines the key changes for early years settings.