Frequently Asked Questions

We are in the process of putting together a list of questions and queries that commonly arise at meetings, or that we are regularly asked on our various social media channels. Please the list of current favourites below!

In the meantime we would very much encourage you to let us know your queries so that we can build a picture of what sort of things early years providers in our region need information about. You can do this via our social media channels or email using the links provided, or you can fill in the contact form at the bottom.

We would ask you to remember that we are all volunteers working to help the sector in our spare time, so please be patient if you don’t get an immediate reply!


The North West Ofsted Big Conversation are now using Slido for our live FAQs.

Check out the live FAQ page below for the latest questions and answers, or you can click here to go directly to Slido.


Check out some of the most common FAQs and their answers below

Will there be a revised Ofsted inspection handbook?2021-12-08T13:39:05+00:00

This is currently being reviewed by policy at Ofsted.  All inspectors will be retrained to understand the changes.

Will the current deferral process be amended to reflect the Covid implications i.e. staff self-isolating?2021-12-08T13:38:46+00:00

Because of the changes to Tier 3, Ofsted are looking at this.

Will settings who have not yet had an inspection take priority when inspections start again?2021-12-08T13:38:21+00:00

Settings who have not yet had an inspection will be scheduled to have an inspection during the next period. Ofsted’s aim would be to think of those who have not yet had an inspection.  They have a range of priorities and these settings fit into these priorities.

Do I need to report a case of Covid-19 to Ofsted?2021-12-08T13:37:45+00:00

If you have a confirmed cases of coronavirus in your setting (staff member or a child), or you’ve been advised to close as a result, you should tell Ofsted as soon as is reasonably practical, and in any case within 14 days.

Please have a look at the guidance on reporting incidents to ensure you include all of the information required: https://www.gov.uk/…/report-a-serious-childcare-incident

You can report online via the link above.

Can Childminders meet up during the pandemic restrictions?2021-12-08T13:37:26+00:00

We know that sometimes meeting another childminder and their mindees can be beneficial for everyone. During this period, childminders can continue taking all children they care for outdoors. Under the exemptions to restrictions on leaving home, a childminder from one household can meet another childminder from a different household outdoors with any children under the age of 5 in their care. As children over the age of 5 are counted in the limit on two people meeting outside, you cannot meet another childminder if they are accompanied by children over the age of 5.

During this period, community centres and halls may stay open for childcare purposes and supervised activities for children, and again, under 5s aren’t counted in overall numbers. More information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#where-and-when-you-can-meet-in-larger-groups

Will there be a new cycle of inspections starting?2021-12-08T13:37:07+00:00

Ofsted will be moving to a window where everyone will be inspected within a 6 year window.

When will early years inspections resume?2021-12-08T13:36:36+00:00

When full routine inspections resume, Ofsted will be introducing a new approach to inspecting early years providers.

Under the new arrangements, all early years providers will be inspected in a 6-year window from the date of their last inspection. This means Ofsted can be more proportionate and prioritise the re-inspection of the relatively small proportion of nurseries, pre-schools and childminders that are not yet good. Where possible, childcare providers judged to require improvement will continue to be inspected within a year and inadequate childcare provision will be inspected within 6 months.

Read more about the changes here: http://ow.ly/r68C50CiBHY

Are inspections currently taking place?2021-12-08T13:36:10+00:00

Following the recent government announcement, our programme of autumn visits will take place remotely, where possible, from Thursday 5 November. We will only go on site if it is necessary to do so, or in response to significant safeguarding concerns.

Childcare register inspections and pre-registration visits will continue following a risk assessment and confirmation that the inspection / visit can be delivered remotely, or when we have assessed that it is safe and necessary to visit in person.

More information can be found on our coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update:


How do I report an accident or incident to Ofsted?2021-12-08T13:34:12+00:00

The form which can be accessed here https://www.gov.uk/…/report-a-serious-childcare-incident is for the use of providers registered with Ofsted to provide early years and later years childcare. As an Ofsted registered provider you are required to notify Ofsted of any significant events or changes occurring at or affecting your provision.

Further details about what you need to notify Ofsted about can be found in the EYFS.

FAQs from March 2022 Open Meeting

Ask A Question

Got a question that isn’t already in our FAQs? You can either ask it on Slido above, or you can fill in the contact form below and send it to us.

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