If you have a childcare website, by the time you receive notification that you will be having an inspection, there’s a good chance that Ofsted may have already reviewed it. With such short notice of a visit, keeping your website up-to-date could save valuable time and hassle during that all-important visit countdown… Ofsted’s website findings do contribute to your final assessment.

By keeping your content, images and information current, you can feel confident your website is always Ofsted-ready… whenever your inspection!

Here is all you need to know to ensure your childcare website is Ofsted-ready

The “essentials”

1. It may sound obvious, but it’s critical to have the following contact information on your website, displayed clearly:

  • Setting name
  • Postal address
  • Telephone number
  • Name of Nursery Manager
  • Named deputy in the Nursery Manager’s absence
  • Details of the SENCo (if applicable)

2. A copy of your current Ofsted report (or a link to the report on the Ofsted website) together with your Ofsted registration number.
3. The age range of children accepted at your setting

“The current inspection cycle is from 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2020. Providers on the Early Years Register will normally have their setting inspected at least once within this four-year cycle. Newly-registered providers will normally be inspected within 30 months of their registration date.” Ofsted

Ethos, aims and statement

A statement of your setting’s ethos, aims and values is something that inspectors will be sure to look for. If you don’t have a statement prepared, you can make a start by thinking of your ethos as your morals, values and beliefs for the setting – a set of attitudes. Each setting is different and will be passionate about different learning styles or methods of teaching: e.g. Montessori, Forest School, or a particular religion – and these should be the focus for creating your ethos. It’s also important to include your mission i.e. what you intend to achieve and what goals you have in mind – almost like a ‘motto’. Nowadays, most nurseries try and include key words and phrases like ‘resilience’, ‘emotional intelligence’, ‘wellbeing’ and ‘holistic approach’. Use key words that you relate to and aspire to, and your mission or motto will form!

Policies

Having your key policies clearly laid out and easy to find on your website will show Ofsted that you take the governance of your setting seriously. You could consider having a dedicated page which includes policies on such things as health & safety, food safety, child protection, welfare and safeguarding, as well as complaints, whistleblowing, and the PREVENT duty/radicalisation.

Curriculum

A thorough understanding of the EYFS curriculum is something that your website should reflect, together with an explanation of how parents can access further information on the EYFS if they want to discover more about their child’s learning. Ofsted does need to see that you are able to identify the children’s starting point – and also that you’re ensuring they make progress in learning through effective planning, observation and assessment. Using an online EYFS tracker like Footsteps 2 will enable you instantly identify where each child is in their development path.

Here would also be a good opportunity to showcase what you do to promote British Values in your setting. We’ve created a guide which gives invaluable information on how intrinsic British Values are within the EYFS curriculum, and also gives you some great ideas for activities to promote British Values in your setting. You could post on the website images of the children participating in some EYFS activities to demonstrate your understanding.

Best practice for your website:

  • Ensure all your setting information is up-to-date
  • Check that all links are working
  • Have a simple and clear navigation to all sections
  • Add a blog and update your news section… weekly if you can!
  • Always use high resolution photography
Here at Parenta, we have built hundreds of childcare websites – so we know what Ofsted is looking for when it views your website for inspection. We can help you ensure you include everything you need. Talk to our team of experts who are on hand to help and can build you your perfect website, whatever your budget!

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