The Early Years Foundation Stage requires childcare providers to conduct risk assessments and review them regularly. I have a risk assessment for my home and garden and also a fire risk assessment which are both reviewed regularly. My home has passed strict safety standards as monitored by Ofsted. I will adhere to these standards to ensure a safe and secure environment for all children while in my house and garden.
When we go out on trips to toddler groups or walks, etc., I will always use suitable safety equipment, i.e. harnesses, car seats and reins. The safety of the children will always be paramount.
A daily checklist is completed to ensure that equipment is clean and safe for the children to use and the house and garden are clean and suitable for the children to play in. The daily checklist includes the following:
· the front door will be kept locked, to ensure the children cannot gain access to the street without supervision (key is kept next to the door).
· regular checks will be carried out on toys to ensure there are no loose or sharp edges or pieces.
· children cannot gain access to the garden shed without supervision. The garden is fenced off for security purposes and the back gate is kept locked.
· electrical leads are kept short and out of reach. Medicines are kept in a cupboard out of reach of children. Polythene bags are kept out of reach.
· all low level electrical sockets not in use will be fitted with a socket cover.
· regular checks will be made on the stairgate at the bottom of the stairs.
· all hazardous materials and razors are kept out of reach.
· age and weight appropriate car seats or booster seats will be used for all children and older children will have to wear a seat belt when travelling in the car.
When walking I will use reins or a pushchair with a harness depending upon the ability of the child. Older children will have to hold the side of the pushchair or walk alongside me on the side away from the road. All restraining harnesses on pushchairs and car seats will be checked regularly.
I also risk assess any environment that I take the children into, for example, on outings and when walking to school, the shops, library and toddler groups, etc.
If I am planning to take the children into environments that are unknown to me I try to do a risk assessment in advance so I am aware of any potential hazards, although this may not always be possible.
I record my assessments on sheets and these are stored in my ‘Risk Assessment’ folder. These documents are available for all parents to see on request as well as Ofsted.