Operating an early learning and childcare setting (including out of school care and childminders) during COVID-19 (Updated 12 August)

We have developed ‘Key Question 5’, a self-evaluation resource and tool which asks you to evaluate how well you are supporting children and families during COVID-19. The aim of this resource is to enable settings to gather information and continually evaluate their progress in supporting staff, children and families to have confidence in the provision of ELC by specifically evidencing how they have implemented the national guidance for COVID-19, while ensuring positive outcomes for children. This is the only Key Question we expect ELC providers (including out of school care and childminders) to compete. This key question will sit alongside our Quality Framework for Early Learning and Childcare when this is published later this year (which will include Key Questions 1-4).

We encourage you to complete the ‘self-evaluation tool’. The tool asks you to take account of performance data when evaluating your service.  This will be individual to your service.  It may include how you communicate with families or other settings where there are blended placements. It may also be some examples of evidence which you wish to include within the tool e.g. Supporting evidence of how you have implemented and reviewed the national guidance relevant to your service:

Inspectors will request the completed self-evaluation from providers on a risk and sampling basis. Please do not send this to us until requested. This will not be before 10 August 2020.  However, we may undertake other scrutiny activities in settings before this date. Read more about this here. 

COVID-19 Scrutiny Assessment Tool (SAT) (Added 30 July)

The COVID-19 Scrutiny Assessment Tool (SAT) is a trigger tool developed by the Care Inspectorate to identify indicators of potential concerns in care homes.

From 14 August this will replace the current Risk Assessment Rating (RAD) for all Care Homes (Adults, Older People, Children and Young People). Inspectors will begin this process from 30 July.

A list of questions that the inspectors will answer when completing the SAT in the RMS system can be found here.

This is for service provider’s information only.

The SAT is not a risk assessment in the same way that the RAD was but will support us to identify what level of support and scrutiny is appropriate for a service taking account their current circumstances.

In developing the COVID-19 SAT we considered specific information relevant to the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on what our intelligence has so far identified as being key indicators or concerns within services to allow us to consider where additional support and/or scrutiny may be required. 

The COVID-19 SAT is based on a Scrutiny Assessment Tool we have developed and tested that included information from our enforcement review.  The release of the new tool was delayed due to the pandemic, we are planning to release the full SAT for all service types later in the year. 

Key question 7 for children and young people residential services (Added 6 July)

We have developed key question 7 for children and young people residential services.

Where there are concerns relating to COVID-19 in a residential childcare setting this key question is to be used as part of our scrutiny.

Where there are concerns not relating to COVID-19, areas from the existing quality framework will be used as a basis of our scrutiny work.

New key question for care home inspections (Added 10 June) 

In order to robustly assess care home arrangements to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, our inspections are placing particular focus on infection prevention and control, personal protective equipment and staffing in care settings. 

We have developed Key Question 7 to augment  our quality framework for care homes for older people and our quality framework for care homes for adults.  We have done this to meet the duties placed on us by the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act and subsequent guidance that we must evaluate (grade) infection prevention and control and staffing.  

This means we will carry out targeted inspections that are short, focused and carried out with colleagues from Health Improvement Scotland and Health Protection Scotland, to assess care and support for people experiencing care and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to put the wellbeing for people experiencing care at the heart of our inspections.