However, it is really important that you keep Ofsted informed about any changes that have happened in your provision or to you or your family – the worst time to ask ‘do I need to tell you about..?’ is during an inspection!
The best time to inform Ofsted is straight away - when or immediately after something happens. The EYFS states that we do have 'up to 14 days' - but we have cases of providers who have waited and been told they should not have delayed.
Changes you need to notify Ofsted about include -
- Change of address
- New people aged over 16 living or working on the premises eg your daughter moves her boyfriend in or one of your own children turns 16 and you don’t get a letter from Ofsted asking for DBS - DBS update - EY2
- People moving out of your house eg your husband leaving, an over 16 child leaving (not going to uni where they come and go during holidays), the death of someone who has a CRB / DBS linked to your house etc
- New staffing arrangements eg if you take on a new assistant or start working with a new co-childminder
- Any significant event that might affect the suitability of any 16 year old (or older) who lives or works on the premises eg if the police have been called to an incident (not necessarily during working hours)
- If you want to change the hours during which childcare is provided
- If you want to provide overnight care
- If you have a new baby or child in the household eg your own baby or a new baby / child through adoption or foster care
- If you are worried about another provider's / staff member's treatment of a child (linked to safeguarding) - this should be part of your whistleblowing procedures in your safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures. For example, a fellow childminder is pushing and pulling children around and constantly shouting at them and you are worried about their wellbeing. You must not delay with notifications of this nature
- If you are planning major changes to the house eg an extension
- If you are concerned that someone in your household or your assistant / co-childminder’s household is not a suitable person – you (or they in the case of assistants or co-childminders) could be disqualified by your association with an unsuitable person. There is a waiver process you can go through in these instances...
- Any significant event that might affect your suitability to care for children. This covers a lot of things and is one of the main reasons why childminders are actioned for not informing Ofsted about changes
- Health changes eg if you become ill, are due to have an operation or changes to medication requirements since you completed your health declaration
- If the police or social services are called to your house – even if it happens at the weekend. We have had cases where social services have told Ofsted about family-related issues and Ofsted have visited the provider and asked why they weren’t informed
- The death of, or serious accident or serious injury to, a child while receiving registered childcare
- The death of, or serious accident or injury to, any other person on the premises on which the registered childcare is provided eg if your partner dies or your assistant is seriously injured
- Any allegation of serious harm to or abuse of a child committed by any person caring for children on or off the premises eg if an allegation is made against you or a staff member, during childminding hours or at the weekend / in the evening
- Any safeguarding incidents on or off the premises involving childminded children eg losing a childminded child or a child going missing
- Any serious accident, illness or injury to, or death of, any child in your care and the action taken
- If there is a dispute with parents eg contractual issues or made up complaints to get out of paying the notice period detailed in your contract
- If there is a dispute with neighbours and they, for example, make a complaint about you and / or your provision to the local council or social services
- If any of your own children’s school status changes eg if they were at school and you now home-school them or they are off school for a prolonged period of time
- If a member of your family is off work for a prolonged period of time eg your husband / wife is made redundant or is on long-term sick. Ofsted will want to check their presence does not affect your ability to do your job effectively and that they are ‘suitable’ to be around young children
- Any incident of food poisoning affecting two or more children cared for on the premises.
This is not a definitive list – it can’t be!
Ofsted’s advice is to over-notify – if you think ‘I wonder if I need to inform Ofsted…’ then you probably do need to let them know!
The best way is to email email@example.com or you can complete the Ofsted notification form (EY3) which you can download from here. It is much better to have evidence that you have informed Ofsted in writing - we have received reports from childminders that phone calls have not been recorded on their notes.
It is advisable to keep a copy of the email and Ofsted’s confirmation of receipt (photocopy the EY3 - screen shot the EY2 or email). Keep the notification in your file ready to discuss with your inspector during your next inspection.
Note - the EY2 form tells Ofsted about someone new and is online only - the EY3 form tells Ofsted about changes and is currently paper based (you fill it in and put it in the post). If you are not sure which form to use ring Ofsted and check.
I hope that helps. Sarah.
Early Years Training and Consultancy