Childminders work from home and have sole responsibility when it comes to implementing the correct measures in terms of health and safety. A tailored childminder health & safety policy for your care setting is an essential part of making sure your business is compliant.
As well as being a home, it’s also a childcare environment and children learn best when they feel safe and secure. The equipment, resources, building, and play spaces must be safe for the children at all times. Childminders also need to ensure they are working safely at all times and following the correct safety protocols.
When you become a childminder, your role is not just about the care of children. You also have other responsibilities.
What is Health and Safety in Childminding?
The biggest role a childminder takes on is making sure children are protected and out of harm’s way. Health and safety is a huge factor in a childcare setting and it’s something that will be a main focus for the parents too.
Health and safety on childcare premises includes having robust fire safety plans, risk assessing, checking the play spaces are safe, identifying any hazards, having appropriate first aid training, and keeping the staff safe as well.
Childminding is a very physical profession with lots of lifting and carrying involved. There’s babies to carry, cots to put up, prams to push, boxes of toys to lift, and vigorous cleaning routines in place.
Paying due care and attention to Health and safety in your childcare setting makes sure everyone is safe and as a result, no injuries occur.
Sample Childminder Health and Safety Policy
It’s not mandatory for childminders to write a health and safety policy, but it is a sensible idea.
A health and safety policy should detail how you carry out your checks of the premises and how hazards are identified. It should include how you keep up to date with current legislation and requirements.
A health and safety policy should include:-
- A paragraph outlining your responsibility to ensure the premises, children, and staff are safe at all times. You should mention this is a legal requirement as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
- Details of your first aid training, including the expiration date.
- Procedures for recording accidents and incidents in the setting.
- Procedures for administering first aid.
- Details of how you inform parents of any injuries their child sustains.
- Your awareness of how important it is to check the setting daily for hazards.
- Your knowledge of floor space requirements and the ratio of children that is allowed.
- Equipment safety and being aware of the recommended for all toys and equipment.
- Having a stringent fire plan and the importance of practicing fire drills regularly.
- Details of your no smoking on the premises policy.
- Ensuring the day-to-day cleaning is carried out to high standards including keeping bedding, towels, and all equipment clean.
- Being aware of the Importance of having a strict illness policy and how to keep illness from spreading.
- Keeping the setting secure at all times with keys kept high up away from little arms.
- Ensuring that your public liability insurance is renewed each year.
- Keep OFSTED informed of any changes that are made to your setting.
- How you keep up with the latest health and safety requirements.
- The role that risk assessments play in being compliant with all health and safety regulations.
Health and Safety Training For Childminders
Health and safety training for childminders gives awareness of all aspects of keeping safe in the work environment.
Taking a training course helps childminders consider their setting as a whole, and understand the importance of keeping safe. It allows childminders the opportunity to risk assess their setting appropriately and identify any potential safety hazards.
First impressions really do count in a childcare setting and you want parents to see how safe and secure their children will be. Childminders should aim to do basic health and safety training or one aimed at home-workers.
A good working knowledge of health and safety practises will help you create an effective childminder health and safety policy for your care setting. It will also help you understand how to meet your compliance responsibilities with OFSTED.
The courses are generic and will cover topics such as:–
- Understanding how important health and safety is for childminders.
- Knowing how to risk assess any potential hazards in or around the setting.
- Knowing how to deal with any incidents or accidents that occur.
- Covering health and safety policy content.
- Correct procedures for reporting health and safety concerns.
- Exploring fire safety.