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The Early Years Foundation Stage which was introduced in November 2008 has now set the standard for childcare providers across the industry. The EYFS brings together a range of previous legislation which included Curriculum Guidance for Foundation Stage (2000), Birth to Three Matters (2002) and the National Standards for Under 8’s Daycare and Childminding (2003). All early years providers are now required to use the EYFS. This helps to ensure that parents can be confident that their child will receive the same development opportunities no matter what option they choose.

This means that you will now be inspected on how well you are implementing the EYFS. If you are new to childminding then this framework will help you to develop your understanding of how best to work with children and will be the basis of your knowledge. If you are an already established childminder then you will have been working along similar lines in the past but will now be working with one broad ranging document.

The EYFS is a detailed and paperwork heavy framework but it does provide you with lots of information on how children develop, how you can help them and what you can do to improve your practice. For more information about the EYFS open the Ofsted Information page.

Tips for Preparing for your Inspection

  • Complete your SEF for the first time (click this link for more help on completing your SEF) or have a look at it again and see what you’ve changed, improved or removed since you last wrote it.
  • Check that you have all the right policies in place (click this link to find a list of policies you should have). Make sure they are accurate and you don’t have anything obviously out of date. It helps to date your policies so you know when you last wrote them. Make sure you are using the right names – Safeguarding Children has replaced Child Protection in Ofsted speak so make sure you have changed all your paperwork to reflect this.
  • Do you have all the important files together in one place to hand to the inspector? Attendance registers, Accident Books, Training Certificates? Having things together already makes it easier on the day.
  • Ensure that you have clear information on all the children in your care. Do you have all the correct contracts and contact details for the parents? Do you have up to date examples of things they have done that are helping them to reach their Early Learning Goals? Do you have examples of your observations and your planning?
  • Collect all the feedback from parents into one place – it could be a box, a display folder or a noticeboard. Direct the inspector to it to show them how people who use your setting view it.
  • Make sure you have the correct Ofsted Parent Poster on display. Click here for the latest copy. Ensure your Certificate of Registration and your Public Liability Insurance are in date and displayed along with your Parent Poster.

If you would like more help then take a look at the Inspection Support Programme available through the Croydon Childminding Team. Click this link for more information on how they can help you.

Ofsted have published a vital document called Are You Ready for Your Inspection.

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