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Inspections of nurseries requiring improvement brought in-house

Inspections of nurseries and childminders rated as ‘require improvement’ are to be brought in-house and carried out by Ofsted inspectors rather than outsourced to third party contractors.

Early years providers rated as ‘inadequate’ will also be inspected by Ofsted inspectors, according to the regulator.

Nick Hudson, director of early years for Ofsted, made the announcement in a blog for Nursery World magazine.

He said: “Ofsted inspectors, rather than our contractors, will re-inspect nurseries judged to require improvement. Coupled with our improvement seminars for these providers, we hope this will make the journey to good or better swifter. Starting from October, Ofsted inspectors will also complete all re-inspections of providers judged as inadequate where we are taking enforcement action.”

Mr Hudson also revealed that inspections of new providers will now take place within 30 months instead of seven which is the case at the moment.

He said: “This will free up a great deal of time – we estimate up to 10,000 days - and allow us to prioritise those nurseries, childminders and other early years providers that are not yet good or outstanding. It will also give new providers longer to embed their practice so that at their first inspection they will have every chance to show that they are good or better.”

Critics in the early years sector criticised the new inspection regime saying the decision to bring inspections in-house for some settings doesn’t go far enough and urged Ofsted to make this change for all providers.

There was also concern that delaying inspections of new nurseries and childminders for up to 30 months could leave some children in settings that haven’t been inspected for the whole of their early years.

October 2014