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At Shine Childcare, we love to talk about our outstanding Ofsted grade – it’s one of our proudest achievements. All of our sites have the top outstanding classification for their fantastic settings which reflects the brilliant work that we do with the children in our care. But what exactly is Ofsted and why is it important? This helpful blog will explain what parents need to know about the inspection process.

What is Ofsted?

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They are in charge of regulating the education sector in the UK, from nurseries and childminders through to schools and colleges.

All nurseries, whether private or voluntary, are registered with Ofsted on the Early Years Register as providers of care for those between birth and five years old. Ofsted regularly inspect childcare providers to ensure that the standards that they expect all nurseries to uphold are being met. Inspections are used to provide guidance and support to educators to ensure that all the children are meeting the appropriate milestones that should be expected in the childcare setting.

What are Ofsted’s expectations?

According to the Ofsted Early Years Inspection Handbook, a childcare provider must show how they will:

  • meet the learning and development requirements
  • meet the safeguarding and welfare requirements
  • develop and deliver the educational programmes
  • identify children’s starting points and ensure that children make progress in their learning through effective planning, observation and assessment
  • safeguard children
  • work in partnership with parents, carers and others
  • offer an inclusive service
  • evaluate their service and strive for continuous improvement*

(*Early Years Inspection Handbook, August 2015)

What do the inspectors do during a visit?

During the visit, inspectors will talk to the provider and the children, observe interactions and playing, and make sure that children understand what they are learning. They will check that care routines are helping to support children’s personal development and look at whether the curriculum is in line with the early years foundation stage.

What is in an Ofsted Report?

The report has four main sections:

  • Effectiveness of the leadership and management
  • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • Outcomes for children

These are judged using a four-point scale:

  • one – outstanding
  • two – good
  • three – requires improvement
  • four – inadequate

There is also a summary on the front of the report to make it easier for parents to see what the inspector has said about the nursery.

The report also offers the provider with suggestions for improvement. These are to be put in place before the next inspection.

Inspections happen once every three years or so to make sure that the nursery is maintaining a high standard. If a nursery is found to not be meeting the inspector’s standards, they are re-inspected in six months.

Our Inspection

At Tiny Tree, our last inspection report said:

‘Children’s behaviour is exceptional and they are highly sociable, kind and helpful. Care routines promote children’s independence exceedingly well. Children’s physical well-being is extremely well ensured.’

We scored an outstanding grade in every section of the inspection. This means that you can be happy and secure in the knowledge that we are looking after your child; helping them to become happy and successful adults.

If your child isn’t already in our care and you’d like to come for a look around, please get in touch to book a viewing.