Written Statement: The refreshed National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare

I am today publishing the refreshed National Minimum Standards (NMS) for Regulated Childcare.

We have made some important changes to the standards, reflecting the feedback from the consultation we undertook last year. This in turn responds to a review of the standards and its recommendations, which was originally published in 2019. An example of the changes is a strengthening of the paediatric first aid and safeguarding training staff need to undertake in registered childcare and play work settings. These and other important changes are highlighted in our Important Changes to the NMS section of the guidance

We have also sought to remove some of the barriers childcare settings told us they are facing around staffing requirements, and we have strengthened other standards with additional guidance where more clarity was needed. 

We have explained the changes we have made, how these can be implemented and the transitional arrangements we have put in place to help mitigate the impact of the additional requirements on providers.

All registered persons, child minders and providers of day care (including open access play provision) for children up to 12 years of age must have regard to the National Minimum Standards. These are the minimum standards for registration to provide quality childcare; the general expectation is that registered persons work toward ensuring these basic standards are exceeded.

Care Inspectorate Wales uses these standards to inspect childcare settings. This helps to ensure children and families have access to quality childcare, which meets their needs, supporting parents and carers to work and children to thrive and develop. 

I want to thank everyone who responded to the consultation – your views help us to ensure the standards remain fit for purpose and relevant. We will keep the standards under review to help support childcare provision in Wales.