Ofsted to move to six-year window for routine inspections


A new approach to inspecting early years providers will give good and outstanding providers more consistency while prioritising providers rated less than good.

Ofsted is to introduce a new approach to inspecting nurseries and childminders that will prioritise the inspection of providers rated less than good. 

When full routine early years inspections resume, Ofsted will schedule early years inspections based on the most current risk assessment in order to prioritise the re-inspection of the relatively small proportion of settings where there are concerns. 

Under the new arrangements, all early years providers will be inspected in a six-year window from the date of their last inspection.

Yvette Stanley, National Director for Regulation and Social Care, said:

"Parents and carers with young children can be assured that the vast majority of childcare provision in England is safe, effective and high quality, and it continues to get better.  The impact of COVID-19 and the interruption of the previous inspection cycle presents the opportunity to rethink our approach and to inspect more proportionately, bringing forward inspections of providers that are a source of concern".

This will mean that registered nurseries, childminders and all other early years providers will now be inspected within six years of their last inspection.  The introduction will ensure a more proportionate and flexible approach is taken when inspecting settings, prioritising the inspection of providers rated less than good.  

Ofsted press release.



Published: 3rd December 2020