Last reviewed 22 April 2021

Ofsted has published its updated Education Inspection Framework (EIF) and early years inspection handbook which outlines how registered providers in England will be inspected when early years inspections resume from 4 May 2021.

The updated early years inspection handbook now includes a new section on “Inspection during the COVID-19 pandemic” and sets out the considerations that inspectors should take during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ofsted says it is following the latest Public Health England advice and taking into account the challenges faced by individual providers to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in inspections including children, carers, staff and inspectors.

From 4 May, on-site EIF inspections of registered early years settings will prioritise providers:

  • judged less than good at their last inspection (including those who received an interim visit in the autumn term)

  • that registered recently but have not been inspected

  • whose first inspection is overdue

  • that were not inspected in the last inspection cycle due to the pause in routine inspection.

In the meantime, Ofsted will continue to carry out urgent inspections if they have significant concerns about a provider.

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