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Promoting improvement in childcare and play services

We are currently exploring a new approach to supporting childcare and play settings to improve our existing inspection methodology.

This project will focus on how we can do more to support settings to drive improvement and will consider new arrangements for interim assurance activity between inspections, based on the quality of provision in each individual setting.

Our aims

  • to do more to promote improvement in the sector, whilst also providing assurance about the quality and safety of settings.
  • to encourage innovation by promoting and sharing examples of excellent quality childcare and play provision.

What we are doing

We have been working closely with a range of stakeholders to develop a new type of meeting with providers between their inspections, called Improvement Meetings.

The aim of these meetings is to allow providers the opportunity to let us know about any improvements they have made since the last inspection, including how they have responded to any non-compliance or recommendations; any other improvements they have identified as part of their own self-evaluation; and what they have done to implement these improvements.

We would also like to hear about any planned future improvements and will signpost providers to other sources of advice and support which may be of assistance to them.

Next steps

We had an excellent response to our request for volunteers to take part in our pilot of improvement meetings. We carried out our pilot with around 60 childcare and play settings during April, May and June 2023. Over the summer, we plan to carry out an evaluation of the pilot and will use the findings to determine we do next.

We will continue to keep you updated as the project develops.