The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published a new report into enforcement in the childcare sector.
Review of Enforcement in the Childcare Sector: Focus on Enforcement Regulatory Reviews outlines serious concerns among smaller providers about the “quality, volume and coherence of Ofsted guidance”.
In particular, the accuracy of written Ofsted reports is called into question, together with inconsistency of inspections and ratings.
Also highlighted are worries that the valuable role of the local authority (LA) in giving providers information, training and advice is to be withdrawn. The new rules require LAs to provide these services only to early years providers rated as “inadequate”or “requires improvement” by Ofsted.
There is also some confusion over who does what in relation to other areas of the early years provision, such as environmental health.
Other issues noted are that general advice on regulatory compliance is not clear, and that there is insufficient recognition of good practice throughout the inspection regime.
Advice should, of course, be sought at each stage in dealing with these matters. Please call our Legal Advice Helpline from Stephensons to speak with an advisor who will be more than happy to discuss individual circumstances with you, contacts details for Stephensons are in your policy documentation or please call one of the dot2dot team for more information.