Safeguarding-Inspection Information

Early Years Inspection Handbook for Ofsted registered provision (EIF) 2021

Early years inspection handbook for Ofsted registered provision – GOV.UK (

The Early Years Inspection Handbook 2021 states:

Safeguarding (section 72-74)

41. Inspectors will always have regard to how well children are helped and protected so that they are kept safe.  Although inspectors will not provide a separate grade for this crucial aspect of a provider’s work, they will always make a written judgement in the report about whether the arrangements for safeguarding children are effective.

42. We have published a document that sets out the approach inspectors should take to inspecting safeguarding in all settings covered by the framework.  It should be read alongside the EYFS and the early years handbooks: ‘Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings’.

43. It is also essential that inspectors are familiar with and take into account the statutory guidance in relation to safeguarding:

Providers must have an implemented policy and procedures to safeguard children.  These should be in line with the guidance procedures of the relevant LSP

Providers should be aware of a new section as a result of the COVID pandemic around Safeguarding and welfare’ (16-18) as follows:

16. The COVID-19 pandemic increased safeguarding risks. Inspectors will consider how providers adapted approaches to safeguarding during the pandemic to make sure that:

  • vulnerable children, including those with SEND, were encouraged to attend the provision
  • safeguarding procedures remained effective both for those at home and those attending the provision

17. Inspectors will discuss how safeguarding arrangements have changed over time due to the pandemic, and how providers have made sure that they remain effective.

18. Inspectors recognise that the context in which providers operate has changed as a result of the pandemic. Therefore, inspectors will discuss attendance patterns with providers to understand how the pandemic specifically affected the individual setting. They will consider the specific context and steps that providers have taken to ensure the best possible standards for attendance.