This indicator measures the percentage of settings providing funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) holding evaluations of good or better across all four key questions.
Source of Data:
The data for this indicator is sourced from the annual Care Inspectorate Early Learning and Childcare statistics publication. These statistics are produced using Care Inspectorate data as at 31 December of each year, and are based on a snapshot of the most recent evaluation that each service has received, either from an inspection or upheld complaint for example. Inspections are carried out on a rolling basis, with services tending to be inspected every three years or so, dependent on performance. The Covid-19 pandemic also influenced both what the Care Inspectorate inspections covered and their methodology, and also the frequency of inspections during 2020. For some services the inspection that they received during the pandemic might be the latest inspection that they have had.
From 1 June 2022, the Care Inspectorate inspection process changed and now assesses services against four key questions which cover the main areas of a service’s work. How well the service performs in these areas will indicate how good the service is. The previous Care Inspectorate inspection framework was based on four quality themes. There is read across from the quality themes to the key questions, and the two frameworks are deemed comparable.
The key questions are:
- How good is our care, play and learning?
- How good is our setting?
- How good is our leadership?
- How good is our staff team?
Each key question is evaluated using a six-point scale:
6 – Excellent
5 – Very good
4 – Good
3 – Adequate
2 – Weak
1 – Unsatisfactory
The percentage of funded ELC settings holding evaluations of good or better across all four key questions will be used to measure the quality of children’s services. The list of services to include in this calculation is based on day care of children services that say that they are delivering funded ELC as at 31 December.
Given the snapshot nature of this indicator and that it is based on latest evaluation, data represented in the report covers a mix of services inspected using the key questions and older inspections data based on themes and a Covid specific key question. The new key questions are deemed comparable to the previous four quality themes, and therefore there should not be an issue with calculating the performance arrow direction during this period of change. Any change in the grading profile of services is likely to reflect a change in quality rather than a change to the framework.
Settings include nurseries, playgroups, children and family centres, and other providers of funded ELC.
Criteria for Change:
- Increase of 0.5 percentage points or more in the percentage of funded ELC settings holding evaluations of good or better across all four key questions results in performance improving.
- Change of less than 0.5 percentage points in the percentage of funded ELC settings holding evaluations of good or better across all four key questions results in performance maintaining.
- Decrease of 0.5 percentage points or more in the percentage of funded ELC settings holding evaluations of good or better across all four key questions results in performance worsening.