Quality for All (QfA) is Early Years Wales’ childcare quality assurance scheme. The award aims high. It considers more than minimum standards, giving childcare providers the opportunity to gain recognition for all the investment and contribution they and their staff make to their childcare service.
Who is Quality for All aimed at?
We’ve designed QfA to recognise quality childcare. It is available to members and non-members and is suitable for all types of childcare provisions in Wales. These include:
- day nursery
- out of school club
Quality for All is currently being reviewed and updated. A new version is coming in 2022! In the mean time, take a look at our new Childcare Quality Awareness Toolkit.
- Childcare providers can promote their QfA award to families, CIW, Estyn and Flying Start
- QfA helps childcare providers to think about and demonstrate how they plan and improve their service
- An assessor will come and visit your service
- The assessor may make recommendations that can help you improve your service
- Discounted rates are available
- The children and families are in the front line to benefits from QfA. They will have high quality staff caring for them in inviting safe environments where they can develop holistically. Whatever the reason leaving children in childcare provisions can be a daunting time for parents. They can read the CIW and Estyn reports to better inform their choices when choosing childcare but if they can also see that a setting has achieved a Quality Award for their Childcare setting, then they will see the provisions commitment is an ongoing investment to work at being the best and continuously improve.
- Therefore, the QfA Award will also promote your business. You can advertise your success on the Family Information Service, (FIS) website, on your Facebook or website page, and you can frame your certificate and show it off to existing parents and visitors.
- QfA does not involve a simple tick box online exercise. Your assessment will involve a personal touch, you tell us what you do best and how you’ve improved and we will send a qualified assessor to spend some time at your childcare provision. Your QfA assessor will write a report that you can show off to parents, regulators and local authorities. They may share recommendations for you to consider, these would be designed to help you to embed the quality childcare you provide or to improve your overall grade.
- The scheme is working in partnership with the required regulations and polices therefore, the written evaluation that you have to complete would have a lot of cross over and relevance. It links to Care Inspectorate Wales, CIW regulatory requirements and demands that are made on you by other regulators and local authorities.
- Quality for All, (QfA) is excellent value for money. In the current tough economic climate QfA allows you to spread the cost over a period of time rather than in one lump sum.
- Purchase the pack. It is designed to be completed electronically. Please email: [email protected] for more info.
- Read the guidance that is included with the pack. There is guidance provided for each section of the evaluation form. Links and references to external documents that provide advice and knowledge as you need it are also included.
- Start the evaluation of your provision. There is a 2-year time limit set for completion and submission; you request assessment only when you are ready.
- Submit your evaluation by email. As the provider you are in control of managing your service and the plans to improve it. Assessment of your provision starts with your written evaluation and much of the assessment will be based on what you say in the evaluation.
- The assessment. You can expect just one assessment visit that is designed to suit your provision. A plan explaining what is expected at the visit is sent in advance.
- Accreditation. You will receive a certificate to display at your provision.
- Staying accredited. Before the certificate expires send in your updated self-evaluation form, detailing the progress, changes and future plans that have been made. You will then be sent an invoice for your annual re-accreditation, once received an assessor will be in touch.
Quality for All is currently unavailble for purchase while it is being updated. Check back soon for more updates.
Quality for All, (QfA) is excellent value for money. In the current tough economic climate QfA allows you to spread the cost over a period of time rather than in one lump sum.
|Downloadable guidance and evaluation pack||£65||£87|
|All prices are inclusive of VAT|
For those with more than one setting there is a 10% discount for the second (and each additional) provision*
Corporate membership to Early Years Wales:
- Purchase QfA packs and assessment at membership rates
- When purchasing 3 or more packs and/or assessments there is a 10% discount for the second and each addition provision*
- If re-accreditation is payable by the individual provider discount will only apply if they are a member of Early Years Wales
*discount offers are reviewed annually.
Q. How long do I have to complete the evaluation form?
A. Once you’ve bought the QfA pack, there is a 2-year time limit set for completing the evaluation and submitting it for assessment.
Q. I don’t want to waste my time and money, can someone support me through it?
A. Unfortunately, we can’t provide a mentoring service. When we designed QfA we decided that a provider knows their own business best and has responsibility for quality monitoring and improvement plans. However, if you start filling in the evaluation and get stuck, or you’re not sure about something, please contact the QfA co-ordinator via ([email protected]). You can either ask a question or send the evaluation for a quick check to see if you’re on the right track.
Q. How long does it take to complete the evaluation?
A. This really depends on how much time you can commit to working on it. We have some evaluations returned just a month after buying the pack, some take about three months – which seems to be the usual.
Q. How long does it take to be assessed and get the result?
A. Once you email your completed evaluation to us we send an invoice for the assessment. Once payment is received, our group of associate assessors are invited to express interest for the work. This will take a couple of weeks, and then you should hear from the assessor when you can arrange the assessment visit date and time.
Q. Who is the best person to complete the evaluation?
A. This really depends on each provider. It may be the person in charge/manager, or the registered person/owner. It may be helpful to delegate sections to members of staff to complete as part of their own development. This would create a team response and would certainly show how a provider values staff, and how they work together and share findings and information.
Q. We really want to improve our service and get the best QfA result we can, but the assessor wouldn’t tell us what we needed to do to get a higher result next year.
A. Assessors are just that – assessors, not advisors. Of course, we all want the best care for the children, but while assessors all have excellent qualifications and experience in early years childcare and/or play work, they are in your setting to make a quality judgement about what you are doing. Sometimes an assessor may make a recommendation about something for you to consider within your practice – but it is for you to consider it and decide whether or not it will work in your service. Remember that the guidance section in QfA has some suggestions, prompts and links to information about meeting and improving outcomes for children in your care.
Q. The assessor gave us ‘Highly Commended’ last year and we were so disappointed this year to achieve only ‘Pass Plus’, even though we feel we’ve worked just as hard and achieved similar outcomes.
A. It’s important to remember that achieving a quality assurance award is a huge achievement in itself and shows that you are working hard to keep improving. The assessor will have given you feedback at the re-accreditation assessment visit and within your assessed evaluation form. This feedback should help you understand why the result was perhaps not what you expected. Year on year, situations change; staff changes, management changes, and even different intakes of children and their parents will have some impact on the daily operational practice. However, it’s really important to understand that re-accreditation is not just a matter of staying still with your evaluation. The assessor needs to be able to see what you’ve done to make progress on the action plans you set last year and what improvement plans you’ve identified for the coming year.
Q. Why didn’t the re-accreditation assessment visit last as long as the initial assessment visit last year?
A. Re-accreditation is largely dependent on your written re-evaluation. The assessor needs to see what you’ve done to make progress on the action plans you set last year, and what improvement plans you’ve identified for the coming year. The re-accreditation visit should reinforce your written submission and unless there is reason to spend more time in your setting, for example, by asking more questions to confirm any matters arising, then it means the assessor is clear about your practice and needs no further confirmation.
Q. Do you remind us when our re-accreditation is due?
A. The certificate has the date of expiry on it. The QfA coordinator will send a few gentle reminder’s starting 3 months prior to your expiry date.
Q. Why should I undertake QfA when I already have so many other evaluations to complete?
A. QfA is designed to link with Care Inspectorate Wales, (CIW) regulatory requirements and the demands that are made on you by other regulators and local authorities. Why do two separate annual reviews when you can use one to inform the other? This is also made easier because QfA is completed in a Word document format so you can easily transfer information to suit your evaluation needs, whether it is for QfA or other external agencies. Apart from the above, achieving QfA will show the people whose children you care for how you continuously work to be the best you can be for their children
Q. Why wouldn’t the assessor tell us our result at the end of the assessment visit?
A. The assessor will usually have a good idea about the final result a provision is likely to receive. However, once the assessor starts writing up the report, they find that their judgement overall may shift slightly. They need time to consolidate all the evidence they’ve been given and all they’ve seen at the visit before making a final considered and fair judgement.
Q. Will we have the same assessor next year?
A. You may do, but as we ask our group of associate assessors for expressions of interest for each assessment, it depends on their circumstances at the time. A variety of assessment approaches helps ensure a fair and independent assessment.
Q. The re-accreditation form doesn’t have space to write about everything our provision offers. How will the assessor know what we offer?
A. Re-accreditations concentrate on the improvements/changes you have made since your last assessment. However, the assessor will spend time observing your practice and asking questions, she will also present opportunities for you to discuss any additional information, all these factors will aid her overall judgement.
Because of the challenging period facing Early Years providers due to Covid-19 on the 17th March 2020 Early Years Wales took the decision to temporarily suspend QfA assessments.
We continue to review the changing situation and follow all guidance that is given by Welsh Government and take into consideration the restrictions and challenges you will be likely to face in the reopening phase.
We would like to reassure you all; we have no immediate plans to recommence QfA assessment visits but we are working on restart plans and will put them into operation as soon as Welsh Government guidance suggests it is safe for us all. We will keep you informed as our plans develop.
In the meantime, we would like to confirm that all QfA certificates that were still valid when we suspend assessment visits, will remain valid until we are in a position to re-validate your Qfa award.
We are aware of the different circumstances that you are likely to be operating under at least in the early weeks and months of reopening, and we remind you that we are available to support you to develop and adapt your previous quality provision in the new landscape.
Please feel free to contact us at any time with your queries.
Owners and Management Teams (including Trustees/Committees) of childcare settings are always keen to provide quality services, meeting their duty of care to provide safe environments for both children and staff. Your commitment to continuous reflective practice and improvement has never been so vital as it is now.
We have designed our Childcare Quality Awareness Toolkit to reflect on the quality measures that must be taken to support infection and prevention control. It is available for members and non-members and is suitable for all types of childcare provisions.
What are the benefits?
- Easy to complete toolkit.
- Professional discussion with an experienced assessor (virtual).
- Address changes made to regulations addressed in the Guidance for childcare and playwork: Coronavirus
- Reflect and recognise the scope of work carried out by competent staff.
- After completion you will receive a written summary and certificate, both recognising your work.
Our Quality Awareness Toolkit aims to help you confirm the attention you are paying to the various regulatory requirements and official guidance materials that are available at this time. For more information and to sign up, visit our shop page.