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Ofsted, Better education and care

Early years:
Safe and sound


Staying safe: Key findings

  • The vast majority of childcare settings keep children safe and protect them from harm. Almost all (97%) of those inspected are satisfactory or better in delivering this outcome for children (see Figure 4).
Figure 4. Staying safe, April 2005–March 2006: judgements by type of provider.
  Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
All Providers (100%=25,000) 4% 55% 38% 3%
Childminders (100%=17,000) 5% 57% 37% 1%
Full day care (100%=2,600) 4% 56% 36% 5%
Out of school (100%=2,400) 1% 42% 50% 7%
Sessional day care (100%=1,400) 3% 57% 36% 4%
Multiple day care (100%=700) 5% 49% 41% 5%
Crèches (100%=460) 4% 48% 45% 3%

Figures are rounded and may not add up to 100%
Explanations of the terms used in this table

  • In almost half (47%) of the inspections in April 2005–March 2006 Ofsted recommended ways the provider can further improve aspects of safety for children[1].
  • Very few settings (3%) are inadequate. In these settings, children's safety is not sufficiently assured. The childcare fails to meet one or more of the National Standards relating to safety. In each case Ofsted has identified actions, monitored the outcome, and when necessary taken further steps to ensure children stay safe. Annex B shows the main improvements identified.
  • A small number of children have serious accidents, on rare occasions fatal ones, while in the care of registered providers[2].


[1] Ofsted makes recommendations to further improve practice when providers are judged satisfactory or good overall. Ofsted sets actions for providers to take when they are judged inadequate.
[2] On average 80 incidents a year involving serious injury to a child were reported to the Health and Safety Executive under RIDDOR, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, over the four years April 2001–March 2005 (excluding children in out–of–school settings). This represents the equivalent of one serious incident in every 14,000 childcare places during a year.