Inspections in Wales

Childminders, day care and play services in Wales are registered and inspected by the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW). These inspections are currently unannounced for childminders. CIW will normally telephone the service the week before they intend to inspect, to check the childminder’s availability and their operating times.

Unless concerns are raised about a setting, CIW inspect full daycare services at least once in every two years; and other childcare services - childminders, sessional day care, open access play, crèches and out of school care - at least once in every three years.

CIW inspectors will spend time at the service:

  • speaking to children, parents and staff;
  • observing children and staff interaction with children;
  • looking at child records and other information to check they are regularly kept up to date such as: child protection polices, statement of purpose, first aid certificates, fire risk assessments and DBS certificates;
  • considering evidence about children’s development and well-being; and
  • discussing feedback with the relevant person/s

Inspections have a strong focus on child development and well-being outcomes. When inspectors visit, they will consider four themes:

  • Wellbeing
  • Care and development
  • Leadership and management
  • Environment.

The full inspection framework is available on CIW's website. Childcare settings in Wales providing funded education for 3 and 4-year-olds (Foundation Phase) and that have previously received inspections from both CIW and Estyn will in future have joint inspections. CIW will inspect on the above themes, and Estyn on the additional themes of Learning and Teaching and Assessment.

Further information about these joint inspections (if relevant to your setting) is available at: Early Years and Childcare - ensuring quality and learning. The new joint inspection framework will streamline the way CIW and Estyn will inspect these services.

The CIW inspector will send their written report to the setting within 28 days. The setting then has 14 days to check the accuracy of the report, which may be amended if the inspector agrees there are factual errors. The final report will also be made available to parents.

Introduction of ratings in Wales

As previously shared by PACEY Cymru CIW are introducing published inspection reports for childminders in Wales this is now to be introduced from early 2019.

CIW are currently awarding silent ratings for first inspections against the framework, awarding a rating against each of the four inspection themes. There are four ratings: Excellent, Good, Adequate and Poor.  For Inspections from April 2019 CIW plan to publish ratings for all those who have previously received a silent rating. CIW have advised that for existing childcare settings that have not experienced inspection ratings before, their first rating will be silent.

CIW have published further information including the full inspection framework and a guide to inspection on their website.

PACEY Cymru, alongside other Cwlwm partners, are working closely with CIW around the introduction of ratings and for those who have been given a silent rating at their last inspection we are looking for feedback on this through a short survey.  This closes on the 19th October 2018.

For news of any changes and for up to date information relating to CIW, please sign up to the CIW Newsletter here CIW latest news.

Regular updates and information are also available through the PACEY Cymru Facebook page and member e-newsletters. PACEY Cymru will also be producing associated guidance around ratings over coming months.