Press release

Ofsted revises early years inspection framework

Tougher early years inspection framework, in which only provision that is good or outstanding is good enough for young children.

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Inspectors will use the revised framework to inspect all early years providers and make sure they are delivering a high quality service. The Ofsted rating of satisfactory is replaced with requires improvement to make it clear that anything less than good is not good enough for young children. The revised inspection framework details what an early years provider has to do to be rated outstanding or good.

Nurseries and pre-schools judged to require improvement will be subject to monitoring within six months and re-inspected within 12 months. They will have two years to get to good – otherwise they will face the prospect of being judged inadequate. Inadequate settings will be re-inspected within six months rather than the current 12 as part of a drive to give young children, particularly those from poorer backgrounds, the best start in life.

There were more than 2,500 responses to Ofsted’s consultation Good early years provision for all. Comments from professionals, parents and carers underpin the revised inspection arrangements.

Sue Gregory, Ofsted Director of Early Years, said:

Young children deserve the very best start in life and inspection can be a catalyst for improvement.

Very many nurseries, pre-schools and childminders provide a good or better service, but we want to help others to become good through our inspections. Our revised framework will give further reassurance to parents, and give the early years sector the opportunity to demonstrate that they are providing a high quality service in which young children can develop in a safe environment.

Notes to editors

  1. The Framework for the Regulation of Provision on the Early Years Register.

  2. Good early years provision for all: a report on the responses to the consultation.

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Published 4 November 2013