Support for children aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Checking childcare quality and Ofsted

OfstedOfstedOfsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It inspects services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. It also inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people. registers most childcare provision, either on the Early Years Register or the Childcare Register and regularly inspects childcare providers to ensure that quality standards are being met.

Inspections are used to provide guidance and support to ensure that children are meeting appropriate milestones as outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

If a childcare provider is registered to receive the 2, 3 and 4 Year old free entitlement funding they have met additional criteria set by the Local AuthorityLocal AuthoritySometimes known as the council, a local authority is an organisation that is officially responsible for public services and facilities in a particular area..

Parents should always check that a childcare setting is OfstedOfstedOfsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It inspects services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. It also inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people. registered. The childcare setting will be happy to show you their latest inspection report and their registration certificate must be clearly displayed.

Childcare inspections, what they cover and grades

Ofsted must inspect each provider within 6 years from the date of its last inspection. They award a grade for the quality of:

To reach an overall judgement, Ofsted inspectors will look at:

  • overall effectiveness
  • the quality of education
  • behaviour and attitudes
  • personal development
  • leadership and management

The grades awarded are:

  • Grade 1: Outstanding
  • Grade 2: Good
  • Grade 3: Requires Improvement
  • Grade 4: Inadequate

Further information about inspection reports and what Ofsted does can be found on the Ofsted website, or by calling 0300 123 1231.

Viewing the Ofsted report for a provider

You can find a link to Ofsted inspection reports for childcare settings in the 'Quality' tab in the individual providers' Family Information Directory record.

You can also search for inspection reports on the Ofsted website.

What to do if you are worried about practice or provision at a childcare setting

You can contact Ofsted directly using this email address: enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk or by calling 0300 123 1231.

Ofsted's powers are limited: they cannot resolve disputes between you and the provider. Their role is to make sure that the childcare provider is following all registration requirements and they will take action if necessary.

If you complain, Ofsted will review the information you provide and decide what to do. They may carry out an immediate inspection, ask the provider to take action or work with other agencies to look at any issues.

However, they will not contact you to let you know the outcome.

You can find out more about their powers in 'Information for parents about Ofsted’s role in regulating childcare'.

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