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Children: Day Care

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how often Ofsted requires (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies to repeat Criminal Record Bureau checks to maintain registration on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register; (200786)

(2) how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies removed from the voluntary part of the Childcare Register appealed against their removal to the Care Standards Tribunal in the last three years;

(3) how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies unsuccessful in achieving registration on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register appealed against the decision to the Care Standards Tribunal in each of the last three years;

(4) how many of those who were removed from the voluntary part of the Childcare Register and appealed against the decision to the Care Standards Tribunal had their appeal (a) upheld and (b) not upheld in the last three years;

(5) how many of those who were unsuccessful in achieving registration on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register and appealed against the decision to the Care Standards Tribunal had their appeal (a) upheld and (b) not upheld in the last three years;

(6) how Ofsted assesses whether applicant (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies seeking registration on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register have completed training in core skills as set out in Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the Children's Workforce;

(7) how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies were registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06, (iv) 2006-07 and (v) 2007-08;

(8) how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register were inspected in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06, (iv) 2006-07 and (v) 2007-08;

(9) how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register who were inspected in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06, (iv) 2006-07 and (v) 2007-08 were found not to be meeting the requirements for the voluntary part of the Childcare Register;

(10) how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register inspected in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06, (iv) 2006-07 and (v) 2007-08 and found to be not meeting the requirements for the voluntary part of the Childcare Register were removed from the voluntary part of the Childcare Register.

These are matters for Ofsted. The Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and copies of her replies have been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 24 April 2008:

Parliamentary question number 200786: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, how often Ofsted requires (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies to repeat Criminal Record Bureau checks to maintain registration on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register

Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for reply.

The voluntary part of the Childcare Register has only been in operation since April 2007, Ofsted has yet to decide upon a policy of repeat Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks for any of the types of provision eligible to apply to join the voluntary part of the Childcare Register. However, it might help to mention that as part of the application suitability check process Ofsted carries out an identity check and an enhanced CRB (unless Ofsted has already obtained a CRB check in respect of that person and that person has a continued history with Ofsted in the previous three years) of all applicants.

The law sets out the categories of people Ofsted must check in relation to the voluntary part of the Childcare Register. For childminders and nannies, Ofsted will check the childminder. In relation to other childcare such as nurseries, Ofsted will usually check the applicant where the applicant is an individual and the nominated person where the applicant is an organisation. Ofsted will also check the manager. Ofsted may also check others who make up an organisation that provides childcare if it has concerns about an individual. Providers are expected to ensure that others who work or are in regular contact with children are suitable, or that those who are unchecked are not left in unsupervised contact with children.

We will repeat CRB checks if we judge it necessary, on the basis of information we have received either through inspection or from another source such as a complaint, to determine that a person continues to be suitable. We will recheck those on the register as part of their application to join the Independent Safeguarding Authority scheme which starts in 2009.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Rt Hon Beverley Hughes MP, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 30 April 2008:

Parliamentary question number 200791: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, how Ofsted assesses whether applicant (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies seeking registration on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register have completed training in core skills as set out in Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the Children's Workforce.

Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for reply.

The Common Core of Skills and Knowledge (the Common Core), reflects a set of common values for people who work with children and young people. They promote equality, respect diversity and challenge stereotypes, helping to improve the life chances of all children and young people and to provide more effective integrated services.

The regulations for the voluntary part of the Childcare Register state that, as part of the ongoing requirements of registration, providers must ensure that: “At least one person who is caring for children on the premises has successfully completed training in the core skills as set out in the document ‘Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the Children's Workforce’.” This is soon to change in revised regulations to be either “the common core” or a level 2 qualification.

If the childcare provider has received training in all of the common core areas, or will have done so before they start caring for children, they can apply for registration on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register. As part of the application process, the applicant is asked to confirm (by signing a set of declarations) that they have received, or will receive before caring for children, relevant training in the core areas. There is no registration visit for the voluntary part of the Childcare Register.

If we have any concerns about any details of an application, we check with the applicant and seek confirmation of the declaration. To do this the applicant must produce relevant course certificates or demonstrate how they are able to meet the common core through an existing qualification. They may also need to provide further details of the course, such as the course content. There is no definitive list of qualifications that satisfy the requirements, and in lieu of such a list we currently accept all qualifications on the Early Years and Playwork Qualifications Database as meeting the qualifications requirement, as well as other training or qualifications that the applicant can demonstrate are common core compliant.

At any inspection, registered providers must demonstrate that at least one person has had training in the common core. During inspections, we check compliance with the requirements governing continued registration. At the inspection visit we also look for evidence within the organisation that the skills and knowledge from common core training are put into practice. If we find a provider to be non-compliant then we set an action telling the provider what they must do to remain registered. We currently inspect 10% of those on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register, as agreed with the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Rt Hon Beverley Hughes MP, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 30 April 2008:

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies were registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06, (iv) 2006-07 and (v) 2007-08 [200900]

how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register were inspected in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06, (iv) 2006-07 and (v) 2007-08 [200901];

how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register who were inspected in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06, (iv) 2006-07 and (v) 2007-08 were found not to be meeting the requirements for the voluntary part of the Childcare Register [200902];

how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies registered on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare Register who were inspected in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06, (iv) 2006-07 and (v) 2007-08 and found to be not meeting the requirements for the voluntary part of the Childcare Register were removed from the voluntary part of the Childcare Register [200903].

Your recent parliamentary questions have been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for reply.

The voluntary part of the Childcare Register has only been in operation since April 2007. During the period April 2007 to March 2008, Ofsted had registered 1,421 settings. The method of categorisation Ofsted uses does not fit precisely with the types that you have indicated, but I can confirm that of the 1,421 registered settings, 70 are other childcare (for example, activity-based settings such as sports coaching or tuition; short-term care, such as crèches); 33 are childminders; and 1,318 home childcare (nannies). Nurseries usually require compulsory registration as they cater for children aged under five.

Ofsted do not have a duty to inspect provision on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register, and only inspect a proportion of those who are registered. Between April 2007 and March 2008 Ofsted has completed six inspections with a further eight scheduled for inspection up until the end of April 2008. Of these, five were home childcare inspections and one was a childcare inspection.

Of those inspections carried out between the periods April 2007 to March 2008, two providers were found not to be meeting the requirements for the voluntary part of the Childcare Register.

Ofsted has not removed any providers from the voluntary part of the Childcare Register. The two providers did not meet requirements at inspection have since done so.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Rt Hon Beverley Hughes MP, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 30 April 2008:

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies removed from the voluntary part of the Childcare Register appealed against the decision to the Care Standards Tribunal in the last three years [200787];

how many (a) nurseries, (b) childminders and (c) nannies, unsuccessful in achieving registration on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register, appealed against the decision to the Care Standards Tribunal in the last three years [200788];

how many of those who were removed from the voluntary part of the Childcare Register and appealed against the decision to the Care Standards Tribunal had their appeal (a) upheld and (b) not upheld in the last three years [200789];

how many of those who were unsuccessful in achieving registration on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register and appealed against the decision to the Care Standards Tribunal had their appeal (a) upheld and (b) not upheld in the last three years [200790];

Your recent parliamentary questions have been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for reply.

The voluntary part of the Childcare Register has only been in operation since April 2007. From April 2007 and up until the date of this letter, Ofsted has not removed any registered provision from the voluntary part of the Childcare Register and the Care Standards Tribunal has received no appeals. Therefore, no applicant who was unsuccessful in achieving registration has made an appeal.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Rt Hon Beverley Hughes MP, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of childcare staff in (a) maintained nurseries and (b) children's centres had been in post for less than six months at the latest date for which figures are available. (205030)

The 2006 Childcare And Early Years Providers Survey collected information on the length of time that paid staff members had been employed by the provider. Table 1 shows the percentage of paid staff who had been employed for less than six months for each provider type covered by the survey. Table 2 shows these figures, by the ownership of the provision.

Table 1: Proportion of paid staff who had been employed for less than six months, for each provider type, 2006

Percentage

Full day care

4

Full day care in Children’s Centres

9

Sessional care

4

Out of school clubs

5

Nursery schools

3

Primary schools with nursery and reception classes

3

Primary schools with reception but no nursery classes

2

Table 2: Proportion of paid staff who had been employed for less than six months, by ownership of provision, 2006

Percentage

Private

Voluntary

Local authority

School/college

Other

Full day care

4

5

3

3

4

Full day care in Children’s Centres

11

9

9

11

6

Sessional care

3

4

6

0

1

Out of school clubs

5

6

4

6

9

1 Data not included due to a low base size.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of childcare staff in (a) maintained nurseries and (b) children's centres were recruited through a temporary recruitment agency in the latest period for which figures are available. (205031)

The Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey does not collect information on the numbers of staff that were recruited through a temporary recruitment agency, however information on whether a provider had used agency, freelance or supply staff is collected. The 2006 figures are shown in Table 1. Table 2 shows the percentage of providers who had used agency, freelance or supply staff, by the ownership of the provision.

Table 1: Proportion of providers who had used agency, freelance or supply staff in the last 12 months, 2006

Percentage

Full day care

26

Full day care in Children's Centres

55

Sessional care

5

After school clubs

10

Holiday clubs

11

Nursery schools

62

Primary schools with nursery and reception classes

57

Primary schools with reception but no nursery classes

41

Table 2: Proportion of providers who had used agency, freelance or supply staff in the last 12 months, by ownership of provision, 2006

Private

Voluntary

Local Authority

School/College

Other

Full day care

24

17

53

46

49

Full day care in Children's Centres

1

1

64

1

1

Sessional care

4

5

1

1

1

Out of school clubs

9

9

15

12

1

1 Data not included due to a low base size.