A range of images of children and adults

Key findings

  • Almost all settings (97%) are satisfactory or better in the way they are organised to promote positive outcomes for children; over half the registered early years and childcare settings (54%) are good or outstanding.
  • The proportion of day-care providers inspected with good or outstanding organisation has risen from 44% in 2005–06 to 58% in 2007–08. The proportion of childminding judged good or outstanding has changed very little from 57% to 56%.
  • Almost all settings (98%) providing government-funded early education are satisfactory or better in their leadership and management of early education; 64% are good or outstanding.
  • A few settings (3%) are inadequate in their organisation and do not provide acceptable support for children; 2% of those offering government-funded early years education are inadequate in their leadership and management. However, almost all improve quickly: 95% of provision judged inadequate and reinspected was satisfactory or better in its organisation by the end of March 2008.
  • Settings that are part of a quality assurance scheme generally provide higher quality early education and childcare.
  • In the best settings:
    • children are at the heart of all that happens
    • adults have a robust approach to keeping children safe
    • inspiring environments enable children to thrive, well supported by knowledgeable adults who keep close watch over children’s development and monitor progress
    • adults are continually improving their already outstanding practice.
A girl creating art with the help of a teacher

During our celebration of outstanding provider events across the country, we asked providers what contributed most to their success. Annex A outlines what they told us. From these findings we have developed questions to help providers and local authorities think about ways to improve.

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