How the temporary changes to some standards in the NMS have been reintroduced to support childcare providers caring for all children.
We have reintroduced the temporary changes to some of the requirements in the National Minimum Standards (NMS) for regulated childcare. The NMS apply to child minders and those who provide day care for children up to the age of 12.
Getting approval for changes
Before you make changes to your standards, you must talk to your local authority (through Family Information Services or your contact in the childcare team).
Who to tell about changes
Protective measures in childcare settings
You must also follow our guidance about taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in your setting.
Relaxation of staffing ratios will only be agreed on a case by case basis, by your local authority. A decision will be made depending on local circumstances and the type of setting. The relaxation in standards are to allow providers flexibility in exceptional circumstances.
Providers cannot exceed agreed numbers of registered children.
Applying day care staff ratios in a mixed age range setting
You should use the ratio applicable to the youngest child in each group.
There may be some circumstances where it may not be possible for some childcare settings to use the relaxations of the NMS, and follow the protective measures guidance. This could be because of the size of the space you use to look after children and the need to keep group size consistent.
Keeping children safe in settings where there are a minimum of two staff on duty
Any decision to relax this requirement should be taken by the settings registered child care provider and person in charge. A full risk assessment should be done before any local authority agreement. The risk assessment should include, an on-call support system and contingency measures if the person in charge becomes unavailable.
Who should have a recognised childcare qualification
The registered childcare provider or person in charge has to prove to the local authority why they need to relax any standards. They also need to prove how they can ensure the quality and safety of the care at their setting.
How to tell Care Inspectorate Wales of changes to childcare settings
You need to email Care Inspectorate Wales (even if you have refused an application to relax the NMS) at CIW@gov.Wales (add ‘Local authority notification of relaxation of National Minimum Standards’ or 'refusal of relaxation of National Minimum Standards’ in the subject header).
Identity (ID) verification checks and Disclosure of Barring Service (DBS)
ID verification and DBS checks
How to apply for ID check for DBS
Urgent DBS checks
If you need an urgent DBS and you are a Responsible Individual, Registered Person, childminder, childminding assistant or a ‘Lives at’ please contact CIW on 0300 7900 126 ‘selecting option 3’.