Ofsted stands for Office For Standards in Education and is regulatory body for education and childcare in England.
As their name implies, their role is to monitor standards in education and childcare and ensure that schools and childcare providers are attaining and maintaining the required levels of performance – always with the well-being of the children as the primary concern.
Every Sherpa Kids site is registered with Ofsted before it opens (or in a process of reigistration). Each site will have a unique Ofsted registration number.
This means that Ofsted will have run extensive checks on our company and the people who own and run it to ensure that we are suitable to take on the responsibility of looking after children.
This means that Ofsted will have come to inspect our premises, interview us and make sure that we have all the correct policies and procedures in place.
Once a site has been operational for 6 months or so, Ofsted will then come to make unannounced inspection visits to make sure that we are operating to the required standards. It is then that we will be given an official Ofsted rating. If any of our sites currently do not have an Ofsted rating it is simply because they have not yet carried out an inspection visit.
Apart from peace of mind there are specific financial benefits of placing your children in an Ofsted registered childcare provider.
You will be able to use childcare vouchers if your employer provides them. Theses vouchers can be used to make payments very simple for you and can save you a significant amount in tax. Ask your employer for details or speak to your local Sherpa Kids.
You may also be able to claim some of the cost back via Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits. Visit http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/index.htm or call the Tax Credit help line on 0901 435 0710