New Quality Framework: Care Inspectorate Testing Phase across Childcare Settings

New Quality Framework: Care Inspectorate Testing Phase across Childcare Settings
In June, the Care Inspectorate published its new draft Quality Framework for Daycare of Children, Childminding and School Aged Childcare. You can read our previous news item from 15 June here.

The primary purpose of the framework is for early learning and childcare services, including childminding, to evaluate their own performance.  When it is finalised - it will also be used by Care Inspectorate inspectors to provide independent assurance about the quality of children’s experiences and outcomes within your childminding setting.  

By the Care Inspectorate setting out what they expect to see in high-quality care and learning, it can help support improvement within your childminding setting.

Yesterday (Tuesday 20 July), a Provider Update email from the Care Inspectorate was sent to all services, including all childminders, to notify you of their intention to begin testing the new draft Quality Framework across 60 childcare settings during August and September.  

What does this mean for your childminding setting?
You should be aware that from Monday 19 July when COVID-19 restrictions were eased, there are no restrictions on professionals visiting settings (with risk assessments, social distancing and mask wearing to be observed).   

If your childminding service is identified as a ‘test’ inspection, your inspector will inform you of this when they arrive at your service. This means it is vitally important that you are aware, up-to-speed and confident with the new Quality Framework in the event your setting is selected as part of a test inspection.   

Your inspector will engage with you throughout the test inspection and once complete, they will ask for your feedback. Your views and input are invaluable to the Care Inspectorate and will help to form what the final Quality Framework looks like and how they conduct their inspections in future.

How does this relate to Key Question 5?
As you will be aware, the Care Inspectorate has been carrying out inspections since last summer focusing specifically on the new Key Question 5; How good is our care and support during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

The structure and format of Key Question 5 mirrors how the new Quality Framework is laid out.  

SCMA has been highlighting the importance and being aware of Key Question 5 since its introduction, highlighting regularly in Childminding News, on our website and on social media - we have also developed an FAQ on our dedicated COVID-19 webpage for further information and support.  

Further Support 
SCMA recommends all childminders are familiar with the draft Quality Framework and to how it applies to your setting and to take time to self-evaluate your performance alongside the quality indicators. 

To help you, the Care Inspectorate has developed a bite-sized video to explain more about the testing phase of the Quality Framework WATCH HERE, and further guidance for providers is available here

Our FAQ on Key Question 5 is available on our COVID-19 webpage too.  

We will update childminders with any further information, as and when it is available from the Care Inspectorate.