New Inspection Judgements from September 2015

December 11th, 2015

New Inspection Judgements for Childminders


New eBook available to download for members at  – Completing your Self-Evaluation Form (2015) our guide to completing Ofsted’s Self Evaluation.


From September 2015 all providers including childminders must comply with the new inspection framework.  There will be four graded judgements – as there are now – and these will be applied across all settings through the introduction of the Common Inspection Framework. This framework will be supported by individual handbooks addressing the characteristics of each of the following sectors: maintained schools, further education and skills, non-association independent schools and early years.

The four graded judgement areas will be:

  • effectiveness of leadership and management
  • personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • teaching, learning and assessment
  • outcomes for children and learners

Greater emphasis will be placed on safeguarding and the curriculum.

Please note: Although information may suggest that inspections in the future will be shorter (this only applies to schools and further education establishments.  Therefore, Ofsted do not intend to introduce shorter inspections for early years providers including childminders.

What does the new inspection framework mean for childminders?

I suspect you already practice to the highest standards to meet requirements set; however, some changes in the way you present your evidence and making various amendments may be required once you assess what you already have in place.

The format of the day will largely depend on the areas of focus but inevitably safeguarding, the curriculum, behaviour, outcomes for children and the quality of teaching will all be explored.

How can I prepare for this? What is the inspector looking for?

You can access the document “Early Years Inspection Handbook” this became available from September 2015 (150068), Ofsted 2015.  This will provide information on everything you need to know to help you prepare for your inspection.

This also can be an excellent tool to use as a self reflection exercise to prepare for your inspection.   By using the Grade Descriptors and asking yourself questions such as “am I/are we doing this? How am I doing this? What evidence can I display to support what I am doing? Are you exceeding the criteria are there areas for improvement to ensure I reach that level.  Using both this guidance and your self evaluation form will help improve your practice and prepare you in advance for your inspection.

It is good practice to always include the views of parents and carers, detailing what do they think about your provision?  Also consider what children like about the care they receive? Perhaps seek feedback from other childminders or assistants that you may work with or have engagement with.

Methods of support that may be available for you to seek additional assistance with your self-evaluation may include:

  • Local Authority quality improvement schemes
  • Childminding Networks
  • A reflective diary
  • Parent Questionnaires
  • Child Questionnaires
  • A professional development plan
  • Evaluating your training course – consider what impact they have on your practice.
  • Network meetings to share ideas of best practice with others

Tip:  We suggest revisiting your last inspection report to remind yourself of any previous actions or recommendations.  The inspector will be looking for evidence to support your action plan and may ask question to assess how you have addressed those actions and recommendations since your last inspection.

Having all your documentation and supporting evidence already prepared in one place around your due inspection will allow the inspector to proceed with the inspection allowing you to carry out your daily routine and not interfere with interacting with your children.

Also available to download:  Guidance to help you complete your Ofsted Self Evaluation Form


Ofsted: “Early years inspection handbook” (ref: 150068). Crown copyright 2015

Ofsted: “Early years self-evaluation form guidance” (ref:120342). Crown copyright 2015

Ofsted: The common inspection framework: education, skills and early years: (ref: 150065). Crown copyright 2015 


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