What are 'Quality Assurance Schemes'?
Quality Assurance Schemes are programmes designed to promote quality by encouraging childcare providers to think carefully about what they do and why they do it.
A good scheme will encourage providers to do three things:
  • to look critically at the quality of their service for themselves.
  • to compare their practice with what we know about best practice.
  • to get further training to ensure that they are delivering best practice.

What does it mean to you?
Once your group / club / organisation / setting has been accredited by an endorsed Quality Assurance Scheme you will be able to show parents that you are committed to delivering a high quality service. This in turn will enable parents to make a more informed choice when deciding with whom they wish to entrust the care of their child.

Environmental Rating Scales Quality Improvement Scheme
Torfaen Council's Childcare Business Support Officers are now able to work with new and existing Torfaen childcare providers to help them improve the quality of the childcare within their settings. This scheme is completely free of charge to childcare providers, and helps them focus on areas within their settings where they would like to improve quality. It can also be used as a tool for continual self evaluation and development. This scheme is an excellent basis for undertaking any Quality Assurance Mark.

There are four separate rating scales available:
Infant & Toddler Environmental Rating Scales ideal for group settings providing care for 0 2.5 year olds
Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scales ideal for group settings providing care for 2.5 5 year olds
School Aged Care Environmental Rating Scales ideal for out of school childcare settings providing care for 3 14 year olds
Family Childcare Environmental Rating Scales ideal for childminders providing care for 0 11 year olds

Please contact the Childcare Business Support Team for more information on 01633 648115 / 648114 or Danielle.perry@torfaen.gov.uk.

Further Information
Most professional childcare associations have their own 'Quality Mark' relating to their area of expertise. For more detailed information you can contact:

www.pacey.org.uk - for more information from the Providers Association for Childcare and Early Years.

www.clybiauplantcymru.org - for information from Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids Clubs about Out of School Hours Clubs.

www.ndna.org.uk - for information from the National Day Nurseries Association.

www.mym.co.uk - for information from Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin about Cylchoedd Meithrin and Cylchoedd Ti a Fi.

www.childcareapprovalschemewales.co.uk - for information on registering with the Childcare Approval Scheme for Wales as a home based childcarer/nanny under the Welsh Assembly Government's voluntary scheme to recognise quality childcare within the child's own home.

www.walesppa.org/quality_assurance - for information on a Wales-specific childcare quality assurance scheme, Quality for All (QfA) delivered by Wales Pre-school Providers Association (Wales PPA)

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