Childminder Risk Assessment Policy Guide

There are many day-to-day risks in childcare settings that must be identified. A childminder risk assessment policy reassures the parents and staff that the environment is the safest it can be.

A policy only needs to be brief, while referencing the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and compliance with the requirements.

The policy should lay out how and why risk assessments are carried out and how any hazards are dealt with. You can also mention any health and safety training you’ve undertaken and any other relevant courses. Creating a risk assessment policy is an important part of becoming a childminder. Our guide will outline what you need to think about when creating yours.


Why are Risk Assessments Important in Childcare Settings?

Risk assessments are important for the home, garden, outdoors, toys, resources, and any large equipment such as trampolines.

These should be reviewed frequently and action may need to be taken when new risks become apparent. While written risk assessments are no longer a requirement according to the most recent updates (September 2021 EYFS), they are still very useful to have.

If an accident happens in your setting that ends up being more serious then you will have your risk assessment to show you were compliant with all safety requirements.

When you complete each childminder risk assessment, it’s important to be very honest about the outcome of each hazard. The likelihood of something occurring might be unlikely, however, the outcome could still be severe.


Types of Childminder Risk Assessments

Outings

A big advantage to childminder settings is their ability to go on outings very regularly due to their relatively small numbers.

With outings though come risks, so a risk assessment should be done to keep everyone safe. Childminders do not need a risk assessment for every outing they go on, instead, they can carry out a thorough one that will cover all relevant hazards.

An outings risk assessment should include:

  • Staff to child ratio.
  • Details of transport e.g. car, bus, walking.
  • Details of all safety measures such as car seats, seat belts, walking reins, hi-viz jackets etc.
  • How staff can access emergency numbers of children when outdoors, E.g. have them written down in a sealed envelope.
  • Ensuring head counts are carried out regularly and children understand road safety (where appropriate).
  • Identify the hazards such as children getting lost, road accidents, falling in the river, and becoming unwell. Then include all action to be taken to minimise these risks.

Fire Safety

Working in their own homes means that childminders are vulnerable to incidents such as fires. It’s very important to have a risk assessment in place for such eventualities because often, childminders work alone. By identifying the hazards around fires, childminders are  ensuring these risks are kept to a minimum.

A fire safety risk assessment should include:

  • The potential hazards around working from home in the event of a fire.
  • How you will manage all the children to get them outside quickly.
  • What fire safety measures are in place such as fire blankets, extinguishers, smoke alarms.
  • Details of practice fire drills so that when children come to do a real one they already know the routine and won’t be as worried.
  • Consider the fire exits and how you would deal with fires in different locations in the home.

The Garden and Play Equipment

Often childminders use their garden as an extension of the children’s play space, giving them access to more experiences.

A full risk assessment should be carried out of all the potential garden hazards including any play equipment. Gardens can be a great sensory experience for children when they are secure and child-friendly.

A garden and play equipment risk assessment should include:

  • A list of all equipment you intend to use in the garden such as swing sets, see-saws, climbing frames, and sandpits. With these, a list of all the hazards and the steps you can take to minimise any risks.
  • It’s wise to adhere to the recommended age for play equipment so that you aren’t at risk of being sued should an accident occur.
  • A list of any potential garden hazards such as steps, loose slabs, wooden chips, and gates.
  • Any other potential risks with playing in the garden such as stranger danger, adverse weather conditions and supervision.

Risk Assessment Training For Childminders

A risk assessment course that is aimed at the early years will be ideal for childminders.

Childminders must understand and show compliance with all health and safety regulations. While a risk assessment course isn’t a legal requirement for childminders, it will help them manage their risks and keep the children safe.

These courses are generic and will cover topics such as:

  • Identifying the risks within your home.
  • Identifying the risks outside of your home.
  • How to minimise these risks and what action might need to be taken.
  • How to correctly fill in a risk assessment and understand the severity of each potential hazard.
  • The EYFS and risk assessments.

Our broader guide on workplace risk assessments will give further ideas on the types of risk and hazard to look out for.

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