Brett Wigdortz OBE

Brett Wigdortz OBE, Chief Executive Officer

25 June 2024

I’d like to start by thanking all of our 1,000+ community and team members for their hard work and support during the Ofsted inspection on the 21-24 of May. It was a busy week, but you smashed it out of the park!

As many of you are aware, tiney is a Childminding Agency a category of childcare regulator, which was set up in primary legislation in 2014. As a Childminding Agency, we licence and regulate tiney childminders, but in turn we are regulated by Ofsted, which inspects us in line with government guidance and ensures we are meeting our statutory responsibilities and supporting high quality and safeguarding among our community.

Originally tiney were not meant to be inspected until 2025 as it’s only been two years since our last inspection. However, due to our fast growth (we have quadrupled in size over the past two years), Ofsted decided to come sooner than expected. I got “the call” the previous Wednesday while I was dropping my son off at school and almost dropped my phone (since it was an unregistered number that called me, I almost didn’t pick up!) I immediately called Sarah Silver, our Head of Safeguarding, and we began our planning.

The inspection was led by an Early Years Senior Officer and 18 Early Years Regulatory Inspectors. Inspectors spoke to, or shadowed visits, with over 65 of our childminders, and collected information from 5000+ families and guardians. They also spent at least 5 hours a day with our internal staff, conducting over 25 hours of interviews. Sarah and her team alone spent more than 8 hours that week in detailed conversations with the inspectors, including on our safeguarding processes, quality assurance systems, and professional development support. As you can imagine, there was a lot of coffee and tea drunk that week and quite a few boxes of doughnuts demolished! Ofsted were especially interested in the tiney app and the support that we are able to provide through this technology.

Now for the results!

We are thrilled to share the wonderful news that the report is overwhelmingly positive.

To start with, we achieved the highest possible judgement in every category and the report contains no actions for tiney (items that Ofsted would be asking tiney to ‘action’ in the coming months).

However, the real exciting part is in the written findings. I urge you to read the full report here. In the meantime, I tried to summarise some of the best parts…

Leadership and Management:

“tiney’s senior management team have a clear vision for the childminding agency and this is shared by the whole team and the board” The report states that our recruitment and induction processes are robust with a strong vision to help childminders nationally.

Quality of Services:

Our innovative tiney app was highlighted for its support in daily organisation and administrative tasks. Ofsted noted that “this allows childminders to focus more on the children in their care.” They also noted that the tiney app “provides childminders with an effective and easy system to support the daily organisation of their businesses”

Impact on Education and Care:

“Childminders are provided with support to help them meet the care and learning of all their minded children." The comprehensive training programs we offer, including Inset Days and continuous professional development opportunities", were praised for enhancing the skills and knowledge of our childminders.

Commitment to Safeguarding:

Our safeguarding practices were positively inspected and it was seen that the team “understands their responsibilities for safeguarding and applies their regulatory powers, such as suspension of registration, appropriately to minimise risks to children.” The 24-hour safeguarding helpline was particularly called out, ensuring that children’s safety is always a priority with robust safeguarding practises in place to safeguard children and a strong focus on continued improvement.

Parental Involvement:

The feedback parents and guardians sent to Ofsted was overwhelmingly positive with 98% responding positively about the tiney service and app, “parents have expressed their satisfaction with the support they receive. They say that the information available to them on the app is extremely helpful.” Ofsted was also impressed with the services which we provide for parents “which includes access to a specific parent app which provides administrative support, daily update service, and information and training.”

Support for Childminders:

Ofsted confirmed that our childminders receive exceptional support, from the initial training and business setup to ongoing professional development. “The childminders registered with tiney state that they receive very good support with training and the set up of their business.” Opportunities for career progression, such as becoming community coaches or consultants, were also noted as significant strengths.

The inspection report also provides valuable recommendations to help us continue to improve, including on making the app more accessible to assistants, changing our process for resignations and enhancing communication to non-urgent queries. All of these areas are already in train and you should see more news on each of them in the coming months.

This positive Ofsted report is a great achievement for the entire childminding community. It reflects all of your collective effort to provide exceptional care and education for all the children you are responsible for.

Thank you to every childminder, parent, and team member for your input into this inspection. Together, you are making a difference in the lives of children.

Here’s looking forward to the next inspection in 2027 (or earlier!)

Brett Wigdortz OBE profile img

Brett Wigdortz OBE

Chief Executive Officer

Founder and former CEO of Teach First and Co-Founder of Teach For All and the Fair Education Alliance. Brett’s lifelong mission is to help every child access an excellent education. He wants to support childcare professionals and parents to focus on this goal from a child’s earliest years.

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