Ofsted to take over childcare inspections

1 Mar 16

Ofsted is to take inspections of early year services in-house from April 2017 in order to better coordinate oversight of the sector.

The watchdog will take over the examination of childcare providers and childminders from two companies, Tribal and Prospects, who currently undertake them on Ofsted’s behalf.

Nick Jackson, Ofsted’s director of corporate services, said this would bring early years inspection in line with schools and further education and skills, with Ofsted directly managing all inspections.

This would give the agency full control over the selection, training and management of inspectors, he stated.

“Since 2010, our two early years inspection service providers have successfully delivered inspection work for Ofsted,” he said.

“As these contracts come to an end this is the right time to consider carefully what our next steps should be.

“With our experience of bringing schools and further education inspections under our control, we are confident that we can manage this transition smoothly.”

Responding to the announcement, Imelda Redmond, chief executive of children’s charity 4Children, said the change would offer reassurance to parents and providers.

“High-quality early years care and education can make or break a child’s future prospects. Those who enter the school system at a disadvantage face a lifetime of playing catch up.

“It will help to ensure consistently high-quality inspections across the entire education community and sends a clear message that children’s life chances are influenced long before they start school.”

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