The new inspectorate, which is part of the assembly, will regulate care services across Wales including nursing and residential homes.
'There have been concerns that the current regulatory arrangements are not consistent across Wales and that standards and regulations vary between regions. There was no coherent system across Wales as a whole, with responsibility divided between 27 different regulators.
'The central purpose of our reforms, which include the Care Standards Inspectorate, is to ensure there is consistent high quality.
'Regulation is there to ensure that standards of service are provided and that vulnerable people have the protection they deserve. This task will be undertaken in a transparent, consistent and fair manner. The Care Standards Inspectorate wants to listen to providers of services and talk with them about how they can meet public expectations.
'The new inspectorate also shows how the assembly government is taking services directly to the people of Wales. The inspectorate will have eight regional offices across Wales, one of which is here in Swansea. This marks a significant step in our commitment to taking our business directly to the people.'
The Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales is taking over regulatory responsibility for all those services currently regulated by local authorities:
* Residential care homes
* Children's homes (for more than four homes)
* Independent boarding schools
* Nursing homes regulated by health authorities
It will also regulate:
* Local authority care homes
* Domiciliary care in both statutory and independent sectors
* Small children's homes (fewer than four children)
* Independent fostering agencies
* Maintained boarding schools
* Private and voluntary sector health care