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Plans to introduce childminder agencies and give early years providers the right to request an Ofsted inspection are included in the Children and Families Bill published today.

The Government is urging the early years sector to respond to an online consultation which will inform its review of how regulation for childcare providers is enforced.

Local authorities are set to lose their early years quality improvement role, as Ofsted becomes 'the sole arbiter of quality in the early years', in the Government's 'More Great Childcare' shake-up.

Under the new regime inspectors will be keen to see that parents are welcomed, respected and well informed, as this relationship is key to children's progress, says Laura Henry.

No official records are kept on the number of deaths, serious injuries and accidents that occur while children are in nursery or other childcare settings, a Nursery World investigation reveals.

During your inspection it is important to show that children are confident about communicating with staff. Laura Henry suggests undertaking an audit to gauge the quality of interactions.

A row has broken out between Ofsted and the National Childminding Association, after Ofsted used its first annual early years lecture to suggest that childminders were 'not up to the job' of delivering all aspects of the EYFS.

The National Childminding Association has written to Ofsted hitting back at suggestions that childminders should primarily deliver 'care' not education in the EYFS.

Staff need to be able to demonstrate their understanding of child development in practice during inspections, says Laura Henry.

Joining Ofsted inspectors in observing their own settings gives managers a chance to show their leadership skills.