Latest Public Sector News


Harsher inspections for early years childcare

Ofsted plans to toughen its inspections of nurseries and childminders, and reclassify ‘satisfactory’ as ‘requiring improvement’.

Head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw said the number of poor nurseries was “unacceptable”.

The proposed changes to early years inspections would mirror a similar toughening of standards and reclassification of ‘satisfactory’ seen in the schools regime.

But the Pre-School Learning Alliance says real improvements will need more funding.

Nurseries, pre-schools and childminders are not improving fast enough between inspections, particularly in poorer areas, according to Ofsted.

Its 2012 figures showed the majority of England's nurseries and childminders as ‘good’ (62%) or ‘outstanding’ (12%). But a quarter were ‘satisfactory’ and 1% ‘inadequate’.

Sir Michael is due to say: “We all know from the research that children's early years are a period of rapid development and vital for building a secure foundation for future personal and academic success. Parents, whatever their circumstances, want their children to access good quality childcare and get a good early education that sets them up well for statutory schooling.

“Yet too many providers are not good enough, particularly in the most deprived areas. We must be tougher on weak settings. From September 2013, nurseries and pre-schools judged less than good will need to improve rapidly.”

Education and childcare minister Elizabeth Truss said: “I want to see more teacher-led nursery classes where children are learning so that they arrive at school ready to progress.”

Purnima Tanuku of the National Day Nurseries Association, said the Government needed to ensure there are “sufficient support mechanisms in place to help weaker settings get better”.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >