Please note that the last day of funding for those children on a stretched offer and starting school in September is the 10th August. Download the Funding Timetable

Early Years



‘Leaders and managers of settings should have an accurate view of the quality of their provision and know what to improve. This should be summarised in their self-evaluation.  Inspectors will use the self-evaluation to evaluate how well a setting knows its own strengths and weaknesses and how it can improve or maintain its high standards.’
Early Years Inspection Handbook, Ofsted (2018)


Self-evaluation is an important element of effective early years practice. Leaders and Managers need to ensure they have an accurate understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their setting so that they can plan sharply focused improvements which make a real difference to children.

You may already have a process for self-reflection and evaluation in place which works for your setting if not there are lots of tools that can be used to evaluate your practice.

Previously, Ofsted provided an optional self-evaluation form for early years providers but from April 2018 the Ofsted format is no longer in use and has been archived. However, Ofsted has acknowledged that there are providers who will want to continue to use this document within their self-assessment processes and it can be found here Ofsted Early Years Self Evaluation Form (SEF). Further information about changes to the Ofsted SEF can be found in this 'Further information about Oftsed's SEF' factsheet

Quality Improvement Plans/Action Plans

A setting improvement plan helps you to identify priorities and actions to be taken. When devising the plan consider:

  • What needs to change/develop?
  • How is it going to be done?
  • How long will it take?
  • What resources are needed?
  • Who is going to do it?
  • What difference will it make to the outcomes for children?
  • Evaluate the actual impact. Did it meet the identified need?

Example of a Continuous (Long Term) Quality Improvement Plan

Example of a Quality Improvement Plan


You can find information about our bespoke training and support packages, in-house training opportunities and training courses on our training pages

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