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How good is our early learning and childcare?

Last updated:
7 March 2017

What is this?

This new framework closely correlates to the work undertaken on the recent review of How good is our school? (fourth edition). How good is our early learning and childcare? builds on the strengths of previous and existing frameworks for improvement. It offers specific illustrations of practice in early learning and childcare (ELC) for children aged 0-5 years.

Who is this for?

This framework is aimed at practitioners working with children aged 0-5 years in early learning and childcare and the early stages of primary school.


PDF file: How good is our early learning and childcare? (542 KB)

This document illustrates how the quality indicators and themes in the framework relate to How good is our school? (4th edition)

PDF file: Correlation between HGIOS and HGIOELC (140 KB)

​Explore the framework

We have revised the framework for self-evaluation for the early learning and childcare sector. The revisions have been made in consultation with groups of early learning and childcare practitioners, managers and wider stakeholders.

How good is our early learning and childcare? (HGIOELC) is made up of 15 quality indicators (QIs), which are organised into three key areas: Leadership and Management; Learning Provision; and Successes and Achievements. Each QI is described further in a number of themes, each of which has illustrations of what 'very good' looks like. In this new framework, we added for each QI 'features of highly effective practice' and 'challenge questions'. Feedback about these improvements from the sector have been very positive.

Using the new framework for self-improvement

The new framework is now ready to be shared with the sector. We are encouraging staff at all levels to become familiar with the framework and to begin to use the illustrations, key features and challenge questions to inform their improvement journey.

Over the coming months, we will be holding stakeholder engagement events to consult with staff across all sectors about how best to develop our frameworks into fully digitised resources that will offer exemplification and other useful improvement tools.

In August 2016, How good is our early learning and childcare? fully replaced the Child at the Centre as the self-evaluation framework for early learning and childcare.


Self-evaluation and improvement; How Good is our Early Learning and Childcare?