Guidance on Ofsted registration and inspections

Little girl smiling at camera

January 2024

There have been several updates to the Early Years Inspection Handbook to reflect the Department for Education鈥檚 changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage for January 2024. Changes include clarification and updated wording for many existing paragraphs, for example paragraph 108: wording updated to reflect that discussions with parents during inspection must take place without the presence of leaders or staff. 

In addition,鈥疧fsted鈥痟ave clarified what providers can expect regarding the inspector鈥檚 conduct during inspection and how during the notification call, they will ask providers about what support they may need, if they have any issues or concerns. 

Ofsted鈥痟as confirmed鈥痶hey will check on the notification call whether a setting feels that it can go ahead with the inspection and offer clarification on how, when and what happens if a deferral is requested. 鈥 

A summary of the most recent changes can be found . 

Ofsted鈥檚 formal deferral policy is available .

Update March 2024: Ofsted EIF inspections and the EYFS

Ofsted has also updated its guidance regarding what schools and registered early years providers need to know about delivering the revised early years foundation stage (EYFS), and Ofsted inspections under the inspection framework. 

Update January 2024: Early years inspection handbook

Ofsted has shared an updated inspection handbook, including:

  • changes on the EYFS disapplications
  • EYFS reforms
  • a new section dispelling myths that result in unnecessary workload for providers


What is Ofsted?

The Office for Standards in Education, Childcare Services and Skills (Ofsted) is the government department that regulates and inspects different types of childcare provision in England to make sure that the quality of care and education meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Most settings for pre-school children must on the Early Years Register. If the setting also cares for children from five to eight years old, as part of an out-of-school or holiday club for example, it must also register with Ofsted on the Childcare Register. There are some  for temporary or informal childcare arrangements.

As a registered childcare provision you must give details of the 鈥榬egistered person鈥 who has overall responsibility for the childcare service you provide.

Who is the registered person?

You can register with Ofsted as an individual (for example, in the case of a childminder or sole trader) or as an organisation (for example, if the setting is run by a committee, or the directors of a company). If you鈥檙e applying as an organisation, then you鈥檒l still be known as the 鈥榬egistered person鈥.

The registered person is responsible for ensuring that there are suitable people working at the setting, and that the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage are met.

Who can be the nominated person?

When the registered person is a group of people, they share responsibility for the childcare provision. However, the group must appoint a 鈥榥ominated person鈥 when they apply for registration, who must be a member of the organisation鈥檚 governing body, i.e. a trustee (committee member), partner, director or someone in a comparable position. This person represents the childcare provision as the main contact with Ofsted.

What does an Ofsted inspection involve?

Ofsted inspects childcare services at least every four years to see in practice what it is like for a child to attend the setting. Ofsted grades the service as either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. If you are a new setting or have re-registered with Ofsted because of a change of premises or status, your first inspection will take place within 30 months of registration.

Ofsted normally phones settings around midday the day before an inspection, so that the inspector can see the setting as it really is, and to reduce the stress of anticipating an inspection. Childminders and group providers who do not operate regularly are usually contacted no more than five days before the inspection to check which days the setting is operating and whether children will be present.

As a rough guide, inspections take around three hours for childminders, while for group provision, the inspector will normally be on site for at least six hours. The inspector will judge the setting based on its overall effectiveness; the effectiveness of leadership and management; the quality of teaching, learning and assessment; the children鈥檚 personal development, behaviour and welfare; and the outcomes for children.

After the inspection, a report is made publicly available on the . You are expected to reflect on Ofsted鈥檚 findings and share them with parents and carers.


Did you know?

鈥&苍产蝉辫;91桃色视频 members get free CPD-approved online training with leading provider EduCare. This includes Managing your Ofsted inspection, which covers the inspection process, how to prepare, and how to interact positively with the inspector.



 

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