The Telegraph is reporting that Ofsted figures show more nurseries and childminders are officially underperforming following changes to the way it inspects providers of early years care in England…
The number of nurseries and childminders judged “inadequate” by Ofsted has doubled after inspectors launched a crackdown on poor standards of education in the early years.
More than 1,106 early years providers inspected in the last 12 months have been placed in the watchdog’s lowest category, it emerged, compared with around 500 a year earlier.
Figures show that seven per cent of settings in England were inadequate in the 2012/13 academic year – up from three per cent in 2011/12.
At the same time, the proportion rated good or better has fallen from around three-quarters to two-thirds in the same period.
The move follows a reform of inspections to focus on the extent to which providers focus on basic education for under-fives and pay attention to children’s personal and emotional development.
It followed concerns that too many children were starting full-time school unprepared for the demands of formal education.
But the move has been criticised by the early years groups who accused Ofsted of moving the goalposts without providing appropriate support to nurseries, playgroups and childminders…
Nurseries – like schools – are inspected on a four-point scale: outstanding, good, requires improvement and inadequate.
Ofsted has said that all nurseries and pre-schools in England should be expected to achieve a “good” rating.
Those falling below an acceptable threshold will be given a maximum of two years before being branded “inadequate” – raising the prospect of being de-registered and eventually closed.
It was originally proposed that poor early years providers would be given four years to improve, but this was halved in November amid concerns from parents that the previous plan was too lenient.
What impact is this new new inspection approach having on early years settings and practitioners? Is the focus on improving standards welcome? Please share in the comments or on twitter…