Nursery Inspections

Nursery inspections are imperative to ensuring that the highest quality of care is being provided to children across England, Scotland and Wales. View our guidance on inspections policy below.


The law in England was changed in 2014 to allow paid-for Ofsted inspections but no mechanism has yet been put in place for it to happen.
So many nurseries work hard to improve following a lacklustre inspection and before long, they are more than ready to prove their new worth. But under the current system, they are simply stuck, waiting for a turn to do better in the eyes of the regulator, Ofsted. 

NDNA long campaigned for paid-for inspections and achieved success when it became a ‘legal possibility’ under the Children and Families Act. 

Getting a practical system to operate paid-for inspections implemented, as soon as possible, would have all-round benefits – for nurseries, local economies and families. 

More work is needed on establishing a fairer appeal process, without costly legal bills that make the process prohibitive for many, following progress made by regional scrutiny panels. 

Scotland and Wales

NDNA believes that early years and childcare should be seamlessly integrated for each child and regulation should follow this ethos with a single framework and inspectorate. We propose the merging of Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland inspections in Scotland, and in Wales, CSSIW and Estyn inspections.