Department for Education and Ofsted updates

Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Attendance in education settings since Monday 23 March 2020 and early years settings since Thursday 16 April 2020.

Early years settings:
The data collection has been paused for the Easter break this week and due to return next week.

The Department for Education has been collecting local authority-level data on Early Years childcare provision since April 2020 on a weekly basis. This data has been crucial to the Department during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure it holds accurate data and that there are enough childcare places. Having reviewed the need for this collection, as well as acting on feedback from the sector, we are consulting on moving to a fortnightly data collection from the end of April until the summer half term. After half term we will review the frequency again as the need for this timely data decreases. This aims to find a balance between reducing some of the time and resource pressures on local authorities and providers, whilst ensuring the Department maintains having timely data. If you have any feedback on this proposal, then please contact with your views.

Ofsted publishes updated Education Inspection Framework

Ofsted has updated the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) and early years inspection handbook to outline how registered providers in England will be inspected.

The handbook includes a new section titled ‘inspection during the COVID-19 pandemic’ which sets out the considerations that inspectors should take when carrying out inspections during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ofsted is following the latest Public Health England advice and taking into account the challenges faced by individual providers to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in inspections including children, carers, staff and inspectors.

It has confirmed that on-site EIF inspections of registered early years providers will begin in England from 4 May. These inspections will be prioritised based on:

  • Providers that were judged less than good at their last inspection (including those who received an interim visit in the autumn term)
  • Providers that have recently registered and not been inspected, and whose first inspection is overdue
  • Providers that were not inspected in the last inspection cycle due to the pause in routine inspection

In the meantime, Ofsted will continue to carry out urgent inspections where significant concerns about a provider in England have been raised. These may take place on site, depending on a risk assessment.

The Early Years and Childcare Advisors and Early Years Consultants will be making contact with providers who meet one of the criteria above in due course to support providers who find themselves meeting one of the criteria.

Further note – the temporary extension previously put in place by DfE for paediatric first aid certificates ended on 31 March 2021 and those with expired certificates must now attend requalification training to renew these. Read more in the DfE statutory guidance about coronavirus disapplications and modifications to the EYFS.

Making a childcare bubble with another household

How you can get informal childcare for anyone under 14 from friends and family you do not live with.

Change made: updated to reflect that indoor and outdoor supervised activities are now open to all children, as previously announced in the government’s ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ roadmap.

Early years inspection handbook

Ofsted guidance on inspecting registered early years and childcare providers under the education inspection framework.

Change made: edits throughout: please see ‘Summary of changes’ for more information.

Reported coronavirus (COVID-19) notifications by registered early years and childcare settings

This data is published fortnightly. It gives the number of registered early years and childcare providers reporting one or more confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) by week.

Change made: added data for weeks beginning 22 March and 29 March 2021.

Childcare services exempt from registering with Ofsted: form

Form for childcare services that do not have to register with Ofsted because they only provide care for up to 14 days a year.

Change made: updated and condensed the form for clarity.

Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework

The standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5.

Change made: updated as inspections of early years providers resume on 4 May, the disapplications to the early years foundation stage profile are in force (and no longer subject to parliamentary approval), and paediatric first aid practitioners must attend requalification training to renew expired certificates.