The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales

From April 2002, the regulation of providers of childcare services became the responsibility of The Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales (CSIW), a new division of The National Assembly for Wales. In 2007 CSIW was integrated with the Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (SSIW) and became the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW). The CSSIW registers and inspects a wide range of care services including day care services for children under 8 years of age provided by childminders, nurseries, playgroups, creche facilities, out of school / holiday clubs and playschemes. Residential children's homes, fostering and adoption services and residential family centres are also registered.

Nannies may register voluntarily with the Childcare At Home Approval Scheme (CSSIW is the Approval Body). The scheme covers approved nannies working with children aged 0-7 years in the child's own home and is designed to offer parents greater confidence employing a nanny and also the opportunity to claim back some childcare costs (if eligible) through the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits.

All childcare providers are required to meet National Minimum Standards and Regulations in order to become registered and to maintain these standards at all times when operating. The main aims of registration are to promote quality standards and to protect children, ensuring that they are cared for in safe and suitable surroundings.

The CSSIW can provide information for parents on registered childcare facilities and welcomes views and comments from parents / users about childcare provision. The views of parents and children are sought as part of the inspection process.

The CSSIW are also keen to hear from parents / users who may have concerns about a childcare provider and will investigate complaints that may indicate that the National Minimum Standards and requirements are not being met.

National Minimum Standards

There is a document setting out the National Minimum Standards for each of the services regulated by the CSSIW. For children's day care provision the National Minimum Standards cover such matters as:

  • the suitability of adults caring for children.
  • the experience, qualifications and / or training of adults caring for children.
  • the number of children that may be cared for.
  • the size and safety of the premises where children are cared for.
  • the activities provided to develop children's emotional, physical, social, creative and intellectual needs.
  • the quality of care and meeting children's individual needs.
  • health and hygiene practice.
  • the suitability of furniture, equipment and toys.
  • the management of children's behaviour.
  • working in partnership with parents.
  • meeting the special needs of children.
  • child protection and safe caring procedures.
  • keeping records and providing information for parents.
  • the management of the service, insurance and dealing with complaints.

To view updated National Minimum Standards please select 'Minimum Standards' on the left of this screen or contact the South Wales office of the CSSIW in Merthyr on 03000 628757.

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