It can be daunting when Ofsted call you to let you know you will soon be inspected, we're here to put you at ease and let you know a little about what your inspection involves.

When you get a call for your Ofsted inpection, it can often be a worry. We’re here to put your mind at ease.

Why am I being inspected?

Ofsted inspect 10% of providers registered on the Childcare register each year. You are chosen based on whether they have received a concern that indicates that the provider is not meeting the requirements of the registration, or where the provider is selected for inspection in a structured sample.

Ofsted do not inspect a provider within the first 3 months of their registration or a provider that has had an inspection in the last 12 months, unless they receive a complaint about them.

Will they come to my employers house?

Your inspection can take place anywhere you feel comfortable, whether it’s your home, your employers home or even a local coffee shop. Ofsted just need to know who you work for, their address and the number of children. They do not need to see your place of work, however if you do choose to have an inspection at your workplace Ofsted will need to seek permission from the owner of the premises. An inspection will usually take around 30 minutes.

What documents will they need to see?

You must show your certificates to prove you have an appropriate first aid qualification (we recommend a 12 hour paediatric course), your level 2 or higher childcare qualification or training in the common core skills and your personal liability insurance.

If any of your certificates are out of date an action will be put against you and in most cases you will be given time to rectify this.

What will I be asked?

Here are some examples of what you may be asked to show you are fulfilling Ofsted criteria:

  • How are you keeping the children safe from harm?

Risk assessing the environment, using your knowledge of child development to keep the home safe for the next stages (for example stair gates when baby starts moving),  making sure children wear helmets on bikes and scooters.

  • Are you informing the parents or carers of any health and safety risks?

Regularly keep the parents/carers updated on health and safety verbally, through messages and photos if required. 

  • How do you manage the children’s behaviour in a suitable way?

Do not use corporal punishment. Use time out, reward charts, praise, try and understand the emotions behind the behaviour.

  • Do you smoke whilst caring or the children?

You should not be smoking whilst children are in your care.

  • Do you consume alcohol or drugs whilst looking after the children or have any medications which might affect your ability to provide childcare?

You should not be using drugs, alcohol or medication which might affect your ability to provide childcare whilst children are in your care. 

  • Are you familiar with issues of child protection and procedures to protect children from abuse or harm?

Take a look at your local authority website to find their safeguarding procedures and how to contact them.
You may find it helpful to read ‘Working Together To Safeguard Children‘.

  • How do you keep parents informed?

You must give parents Ofsted’s address and information about Ofsted’s registration system for the Childcare Register. They may also ask for a copy of your Ofsted certificate. 

  • How do you provide accessible childcare?

Make sure childcare is as accessible and inclusive as possible and meets the needs of each child, not refuse to provide childcare or treat any child less well than another because of their race, religion, home language, family background, gender, disability and/or learning disability. Take all reasonable steps to ensure disabled children have access to the relevant premises. 

  • Can you give some examples of what you might need to inform us about?

Changes to your name, contact details, or address where you look after children, any significant event that might affect your suitability to look after children, a change to the type of childcare you provide, any incident of food poisoning affecting 2 or more children you look after, any serious accident or injury to, or the death of, any child, any allegation of serious harm or abuse committed elsewhere by anyone who looks after children with you, anything that might affect your suitability to look after children. 

Please note these are just examples, all inspectors are different and may ask slightly different questions. If there are any you think we are missing – please let us know.

What happens next?

The inspector will let you know if there are any actions required.

After your inspection you will receive a letter in the post stating you were inspected and the outcome of whether all the requirements have been met. You are not graded.

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