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Early Years leads, children's centre coordinators.

Summary

Supporting Families in the Foundation Years published in July 2011, said that Ofsted inspection of Sure Start children's centres will continue to be an important part of the accountability framework for children's centres.

We are considering options for children's centre inspection arrangements which fit better with how local authorities are organising their children's centre provision.

Ofsted are currently developing and testing flexible arrangements for the inspection of children's centres that includes inspections of groups of centres. A formal consultation on the new arrangements for inspection is currently underway on the Ofsted website.

We are advising local authorities of the proposed changes now so that Ofsted can work with them to test a revised inspection framework which is planned for introduction from April 2013.

Action required and due date

Local authorities are reminded that where there has been a reorganisation of their children's centre provision, they should update the information as soon as possible on the Sure Start_On (E C Harris) database. The data is used by Ofsted to schedule their children's centre inspections programme, and up-to-date information helps the inspection planning process.