Instead of inspecting every childminder at least every 3 years, why not tailor when the next inspection should be due based on the latest inspection outcome. So when a child minder gets an "Outstanding" or "Good" they get inspected every 4 or 5 years: for those gaining a "Satisfactory" they are inspected as now – every three years; and anyone else gets an annual inspection.

Similarly where a childminder thinks they have improved they could then request an earlier inspection to possibly raise their outcome grading.

Other ad hoc inspections where a complaint has been made etc would of course continue.

Why is this idea important?

In doing this childminders would have something else to strive for and it would keep the cost of inspections down. The result  would be that all inspections would be conducted on a risk assessed basis instead of the arbitrary 3 year rule that currently applies to everyone.

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