THE new arm of the Office for Standards in Education - dubbed "Oftot" - was created this week with the passage of the Care and Standards Bill. The Early Years Directorate will be responsible for the registration and inspection of about 80,000 childminders and 25,000 early-years settings from September next year.
Early-years workers will be judged n 14 national care standards, due to be released for consultation in the next couple of weeks.
OFSTED is planning a mass transfer of about 1,200 early-years inspectors currently employed by local authorities. The overhaul of the care system follows the Waterhouse inquiry which exposed widespread abuse in children's homes in North Wales.