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Posted by Katie oGrady

The importance of Ofsted

When looking for a nursery for your little one there are lots of different things to consider and at the top of that list should be the nursery’s Ofsted report but do you really know what these reports mean?

What is Ofsted?
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates all nurseries throughout the UK to ensure consistent standards are maintained and children’s needs are being met. Ofsted inspect nurseries every three years to ensure standards are high and to advise and enforce improvement.

How does the Ofsted inspector gather evidence about the quality and standards during an inspection?
The inspector will spend as much time as possible observing children and staff to understand the way the nursery staff relate to children and how well they care for children to help them to make progress in their learning. During their time at the nursery the inspector will check a sample of relevant documents, and the premises and equipment.
The inspector will also spend some time talking to parents to establish how well the nursery works in partnership with parents in support of children’s learning and development. They will then use all of this evidence and any other information available to make their professional judgements and then publish an inspection report.

What are the key inspection judgements and how are they graded?
Inspectors will judge the overall quality and standards of the early years provision, taking into account three key judgements in their reporting:

• how well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend
• the contribution of the early years provision to children’s well-being
• the leadership and management of the early years provision.

These will then be graded using the following descriptors:
Outstanding: this aspect of the provision is of exceptionally high quality
Good: this aspect of the provision is strong
Satisfactory: this aspect of the provision is sound
Inadequate: this aspect of the provision is not good enough