Ofsted carried out 16,485 inspections of childcare provision between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013. A large majority (90%) were full inspections of providers on the Early Years Register who deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Of the 14,870 full Early Years Register inspections, two thirds of providers (67%) were judged good or outstanding for overall effectiveness and seven per cent were judged inadequate. The proportion of childminders and providers of childcare on non-domestic premises judged good or outstanding is lower than last year. Although non-domestic providers are still performing slightly better than childminders the proportion judged good or outstanding has dropped more for non-domestic providers than childminders this year, causing the gap between the two provider types to narrow to 2 percentage points (compared to 7 percentage points last year).

The lower grade profile seen in inspections this year may be partly because the new framework has raised the bar - half of providers previously rated outstanding declined by at least one grade at their re-inspection this year. 

However, it is also due to focusing on the inspection of provision that causes concern, by prioritising the re-inspection of providers previously graded satisfactory, and by bringing forward inspections of providers where information has suggested they may not be meeting requirements and are posing a risk to children. Inspection outcomes for childminders who registered with Ofsted from September 2012 onwards have been particularly strong. These providers underwent a new, tougher registration process including compulsory training prior to registration, and 78% of those inspected were judged good or better at their first inspection. The proportion of inspections of newly registered providers, those where information has suggested they may not be meeting requirements, and re-inspections of satisfactory provision varies considerably by type of provider. This is likely to be the main reason why the gap between the proportion of childminders and non-domestic providers judged good or better has reduced this year.

In terms of the most recent inspection grades for all providers open at the end of August 2013, 77% of all providers were judged as good or outstanding for overall effectiveness compared to 74% last year. A higher proportion of childcare providers on non-domestic premises were judged to be good or outstanding compared to childminders, at 82% and 75% respectively. Both of these figures are higher than at the end of last year. This increase is a result of 58% of satisfactory providers improving at their inspections this year, as well as weaker providers leaving the early years register.

This official statistics release reports on early years and childcare inspections that occurred between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2013 under Section 59 and 60 of the Childcare Act 2006. The arrangements for the regulation and inspection of providers on the Early Years Register changed in September 2012.

Data for inspections carried out between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 under the new arrangements are provisional and subject to change. 

Full report and further analysis is available on the Ofsted website.

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