Ofsted updates for the early years and childcare sector

Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update.

Ofsted guidance and information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers.

Added new details of how we will carry out our work during the national restrictions starting on 5 November.


Ofsted Interim visits: registered early years providers

An operational note for Ofsted inspectors carrying out interim visits to registered early years providers from 1 September 2020. Added a note on how we will carry out visits during the national lockdown starting on 5 November.

We will focus on ensuring sufficient capacity in the sector, supporting a safe return to education and care and responding to information that causes concern.

Providers on the Childcare Register:

On 11 September, the Secretary of State for Education wrote to Ofsted to outline the requirements for the autumn term. These included the request for Ofsted to return to inspecting 1 in 10 providers registered on the Childcare Register each year. Ofsted resumed inspecting these providers on 16 September.

Inspection of provision registered only on the Childcare Register (either or both parts) is a compliance inspection. It is not to make judgements about the quality of the provision but to make sure that the provider is complying with the requirements of the register.

Registration visits:

We will continue with the early years registration process, including on-site registration visits.

Regulatory activity:

We will continue our emergency regulatory and enforcement work as usual. We will also start making interim visits from the beginning of September 2020.

Inspectors will look at what action leaders and managers have taken since the last inspection. In these visits, inspectors will confirm whether providers are meeting any actions set that relate to the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the early years foundation stage (EYFS). Find out about EYFS disapplications.

These are not inspections and visits will not result in an inspection grade. However, inspectors can take regulatory or enforcement actions if appropriate.

We will publish an outcome summary after a visit, confirming:

  • whether the provider has met the actions raised at the last inspection
  • whether we need to take any further action

Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 30 September 2020.

Joiners and leavers in the childcare sector – published data on joiners and leavers in the childcare sector in September 2020.