We are issuing this Early Learning and Childcare Quality Framework to the sector to support you in the self-evaluation of your setting. We will test this in settings when we return to full inspections. After testing the framework at some inspections when it is appropriate to do so, we will update the framework if changes are needed and issue a final version. Before we use it in our full inspection programme, we will notify the sector in advance of full implementation. The core of the new approach for all early learning and childcare settings including school aged childcare and childminders is a quality framework which sets out the elements that will help us answer key questions about the impact care and learning is making to children. The primary purpose of a quality framework is to support settings to evaluate their own performance. This framework is then used by our inspectors to provide independent assurance about the quality of care and support.
“This framework for early learning and childcare was planned to be launched in spring 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic. We widely consulted during the development of the framework with the sector. We have not yet been able to test the framework on inspections, however we developed Key question 5, “How good is our care and support during the Covid-19 pandemic?” We used this key question in our scrutiny work of self-evaluation, virtual and on-site inspections during the pandemic. The format of the key question mirrors this extended framework so the sector will be familiar with this.