Bakers Hand LLC
Great content makes life easier for everyone. If we could nominate one project to illustrate our motto, it would be this one. Ofsted is the UK government’s regulator of schools and childcare providers.
Anyone who wants to provide childcare, both organisations and individuals, must register with Ofsted as part of child welfare and safeguarding legislation.
The existing paper process regularly had applicants in tears on the helpline. Ofsted staff worked hard to coach people through the confusing and often frustrating application processes. The brief was to streamline and simplify the processes.
We worked with an external service designer to turn multiple, complex paper application processes into a single online user journey. This digital transformation process covered various forms of childminding and childcare on domestic and non-domestic premises, including pre-schools and nurseries.
We discovered that the inspectors and helpline staff referred applicants to a sizeable manual for support. We analysed this manual and provided evidence that a post-graduate reading ability was essential to understand it. No wonder that it had applicants in tears!
We helped to deliver an end-to-end user journey in plain English, complete with explanations, examples and help text in the relevant places. This single digital application process meets all the legal and policy requirements.
Ofsted’s digital portal to apply to register as a childcare provider has been hailed as a breath of fresh air by applicants and Ofsted staff. It has significantly reduced the number of calls to the helpline and mistakes in applicant data. This in turn has helped Ofsted staff free up time for other tasks.
The new digital process provides a much better user experience for everyone involved – and thereby boost Ofsted’s reputation as a regulator in the childcare sector. The design of the digital form is based on evidence that applicants are often distracted during the application process and need to be able to dip in and out without loss of data.