Care Inspectorate (CI), Education Scotland and Inspections

All Day Care of Children’s Services are registered and inspected by the Care Inspectorate (CI), the National Regulatory Body which registers and assesses all care services against National Standards.  The Health and Social Care Standards are available from the Care Inspectorate  website: Health and  Social Care Standards

It is also very important to check the Care Inspectorate website and the Care Inspectorate Hub on a regular basis for information and updates.  You may find it helpful to sign up to the Care Inspectorate newsletter.

Notification of Change of Manager

The Care inspectorate requires notification of a change of manager within 28 days of the change taking place.  This update will ensure the new Head Teacher or Manager receives email correspondence.

In Local Authority settings this update process will be undertaken by the Highland Council Early Years Officer who informs Care Inspectorate and completes the change of manager form. 

The Care Inspectorate then updates their records and generates a new certificate.  This can take 3 to 4 working days.   When the Head Teacher has log in details they must then change the email address via CI eforms. If CI do not have the correct e-mail address you may not receive information which may affect your Inspection grades.

The Annual Return

Each ELC setting is required to fill in an annual return which gives information about the service provided in the previous year. This form is available electronically from the beginning of January and, once completed, must be submitted by the middle of February. Please note these dates may vary from year to year and you should check the website for up to date information. If you are experiencing difficulties in completing this, please contact the Care Inspectorate as failure to submit the document will be noted in your published inspection report and may affect your Inspection grades.  The Annual Return should also be saved as you can then amend it accordingly for following years.

Inspection Procedures and Feedback

At the present time most centres are receiving either short notice or unannounced inspections.

The inspection process could last for between one and two days and may include conversations with staff and parents/carers. Receiving CI questionnaires does not necessarily indicate an inspection is imminent. Currently settings are inspected and graded in the following ‘A quality framework for daycare of children, childminding and school aged childcare.’ 5 quality indicators:

1.1 Nurturing care and support,

1.3 Play and learning

2.2 Children experience high quality facilities

3.1 quality assurance and improvement are led well

4.3 Staff deployment (excluding childminders)

4.1 Staff skills, knowledge and values (childminders only)

The Care Inspectorate have produced a ‘Frequency asked questions’ document for the Quality Framework which you can access here.

Feedback is given to the Manager/Head Teacher at the end of the inspection and during this time you should discuss anything you consider to be inaccurate. You also have the opportunity to comment on any factual inaccuracies within the report when you receive the draft copy.

Records that all registered care services (except childminders) must keep and guidance on notification and reporting

This document provides guidance on all records that services must keep as well as notifications that must be made via eforms. Managers should familiarise themselves with this document so that they are aware of the timescales in which notifications should be made.

Notification of Protection Concerns

Not all child concern forms will lead to a child protection case, but services, who have concerns, raise concerns or become aware of concerns should complete the ‘allegation of abuse’ notification.  An example may be where the Head Teacher has been notified by Police Scotland or Social Work of a situation of domestic violence which an ELC child was witness to, and potentially puts them at risk.  CI ask to be notified of this situation.  The notification for protection concerns they request is in relation to any ‘allegation of abuse in relation to a person using a service”.  This is relevant for all services and the guidance states that a service must –

‘report all allegations of abuse (as defined in adult support and protection and child protection legislation) involving someone use a service, including:

Details of the occurrence

Person involved (initials only)

Actions taken.

Notification must be made immediately.’


Care Inspectorate requirements state a ratio of 1:10 for 4 hours or less or 1:8 for over 4 hours on the premises or where a flexible service is delivered. For two-year olds it is 1:5 ratio.

Sharing Information with your EYESO

For CI inspections it is up to the setting if you would like your EYESO to attend feedback. This will be dependent on availability of the EYESO.

Partner settings are required to inform their EYESO when they have a Care Inspectorate visit.

Some CI inspections may also now focus on the quality of staff interactions. (SOFI –short observational framework for inspection).

Care Inspectorate Registration and Employers Liability Insurance Certificates

These should be current and prominently displayed in the reception area.

Education Scotland

Inform your EYESO when you receive notification of an Education Scotland visit for pre, during and post inspection support.

For Education Scotland EYESOs will attend feedback for all settings and  the scoping meeting for partner settings.

Contact Information

Care Inspectorate Headquarters  Compass House 11 Riverside Drive Dundee DD1 4NY
Telephone: 01382 207100
Lo-call: 0345 600 8331
Care Inspectorate (Local Office) Scottish Natural Heritage Great Glen House Leachkin Road Inverness IV3 8NW
Telephone: 0345 6009527

When connecting to the Care Inspectorate website to use the Hub or eforms you should log on via Google Chrome.