29th April 2024 All Posts

Preparing for Ofsted with Connect Childcare

While Ofsted plays a crucial role in keeping standards high within early years, receiving ‘the call’ is enough to trigger panic at even the most organised of settings. But with Connect, iConnect, and Parent Zone, you can rest assured that everything you need to showcase success is right at your fingertips. No last-minute panic about paperwork, worrying how best to showcase observations, or fumbling to find staff training records – you can access it all at the touch of a button. 

Get ahead with Connect

Connect’s finance and nursery insight functionality, helps settings to keep a handle on their operations – streamlining finances and making staff management simple. What’s more, when the inspector calls, you can quickly drill down into key information such as how many children attend, the number of staff working at the setting, and details of government funding and support. 

With inspections recently adjusted to place an increased focus on nursery leadership, Connect helps managers and senior leadership to gain oversight in seconds – enhancing the ability to make informed decisions around crucial elements of nursery provision such as staff deployment. Easily accessible financial records such as information around invoices, outstanding payments, and grant funding helps to streamline finances and support the operation of a sustainable setting which meets the needs of all stakeholders. 

Nurseries are not only places of learning and development for children, but places of employment too – which means not only must they meet the needs of the children, but of practitioners and the interests of the business itself. To deliver the highest standards of care to children, financial and HR aspects must also be high on the agenda. Connect Childcare helps to bring each of these elements together to create a sustainable business. The system takes account of traditional parent payment and government funding, to support early years settings that can thrive into the future – delivering the exceptional outcomes that Ofsted seeks from the nursery environment.  


iConnect makes showcasing children’s achievements a doddle, with observations, learning journeys, and staff reflections displayed in an attractive and easy-to-follow paperless format. The option to share daily updates from the nursery, receive progress from home, and communicate learning milestones enhances parental partnerships – a huge plus for any Ofsted inspector. 

And when asked to demonstrate what children are learning, and how progression is recorded and communicated during the learning walk, practitioners can simply access pre-existing learning journeys to capture a snapshot of activity and progress over a defined period. The system also acts as a proactive planning tool, with practitioners able to record of-the-moment notes which can be edited and published at a later date. This enhances the ability of childcare providers to actively reflect upon their practice, suggesting next steps, and proactively planning for future activity.

The functionality within iConnect effectively supports the ‘Three I’s’ of the curriculum – intention, implementation, and impact. The software takes a reader through from the start of a child’s learning journey, documenting the different stages of progression as a result of the activities which are planned and implemented by practitioners. Impact can be showcased through their progress at every stage, as they grow in confidence and tackle new and exciting challenges.


It’s natural for parents to worry about their little ones when out of sight, and even more so for those whose nursery drop offs result in separation anxiety. But with Parent Zone, they can be reassured with instant updates and an opportunity for two-way communication with their child’s practitioner. With parent feedback playing a role in the Ofsted rating, it’s important to ensure that caregivers feel well-informed when it comes to their child’s comfort and wellbeing at nursery – and that they are comfortable and confident in the care and learning experience being provided. 

The opportunity to share ‘wow moments’ with parents helps to strengthen the bond between parents and practitioners, as they both share in the pride of a little ones’ achievements. What’s more, with a library of resources with activity suggestions that parents can implement within the home – learning and development outcomes can be further nurtured.

Ofsted inspectors will gather feedback from parents about their experience of the setting. Feeling involved and included with a child’s care is a point of praise for many parents, and something which helps to enhance the experience for both parents and children. Likewise, the dual communication offered by the app enables practitioners to showcase the strength of these bonds and effective information sharing with an inspector.

Ace your next inspection

As experts in nursery software, we know that Connect Childcare, iConnect and Parent Zone are successful in supporting early years settings in securing those coveted ‘outstanding’ ratings. Developed and continuously evaluated by childcare providers, we’re confident in what we offer, whether it’s just one element or all three. 

Why not explore how our packages could work for your setting? Book a free demo with the team today.

What are you waiting for?

To learn more about how our nursery management software can support your setting, contact our team for an informal chat, or book a free demo below.
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About the Author

Content Marketing Executive at Connect Childcare