Ofsted: what you need to know as a childcare professional

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services that care for children including childminders, registered nannies, nurseries, preschools, schools and FE colleges in England.

Here we highlight what you need to know as a childcare professional that’s registered with Ofsted, and how we’re working together with Ofsted to represent, support and guide our members.

Ofsted – what you need to know

Childminders and Nannies

You must register with Ofsted or a childminder agency if you want to be paid to look after children under 8 for more than 2 hours a day in England – unless you’re exempt.

You can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison or both if you provide childminding or daycare service without being registered.

Ofsted hold two registers, the Early Years Register for those caring for children from birth to 31st August after their 5th birthday and the Childcare register that has two parts. The compulsory part for those caring for children aged 5 up to 8 years and the voluntary part for those caring for children aged 8 and over, registered nannies, or creches.  

Many childminders are on both registers.

Those on the Early Years Register will be inspected once in every inspection cycle, the current cycle ends 31st July 2016. This is to ensure that providers are working to the registration requirements.

Those only on the Childcare register are inspected at random, with 1 in 10 being inspected per year selected on a proportionate and risk basis, rather than as a result of a prescribed inspection cycle. If you are a nanny Ofsted will ask the occupier of the home where you work for permission to carry out the inspection.

Reflective practice is important, Ofsted provide a self-evaluation form which you can regularly update and this helps the inspector have a clear picture of your setting before your inspection.

All registered childminders in England on the Early Years Register must deliver and are inspected against the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Find out more about Inspections in England for childminders here

Childcare providers on domestic premises

This is when 4 of more people look after children on domestic premises, this could be childminders and assistants or childminders. 

Childcare on non domestic premises

This is childcare on non domestic premises for example a pre-school or nursery. Further information can be found here

Ofsted inspections

Don’t panic. As long as you’re providing a high-quality childcare service and working within the EYFS framework in England and or meeting the requirements of the Childcare Register, you should be prepared for your Ofsted inspection.

To make sure you’re offering the best service possible, and to put your mind at ease that you’re meeting the requirements of the EYFS and new Common Inspection Framework, PACEY offers a series of online interactive training and resources.

Common Inspection Framework

As of 1st September 2015, the inspection framework for Ofsted has changed. A Common Inspection Framework has been introduced in England meaning that the early years providers are inspected in a similar way to all other registered settings including schools and further education establishments.

You can find out more about the Common Inspection Framework and what you need to know here:

How PACEY are working with Ofsted

Ofsted are a major part of your work as a childcare professional. We’ve been working closely with Ofsted to enable a clear understanding and build a relationship for our members.

Got a question you need answered, a concern you want to raise, or an opinion you want heard? We can help.