RISK ASSESSMENT Suitable premises,
environment and equipment
Outdoor and indoor spaces, furniture, equipment and toys, must be safe and suitable
for their purpose.
Specific legal requirements
The provider must conduct a risk assessment and review it regularly – at least once
a year or more frequently where the need arises.
The risk assessment must identify aspects of the environment that need to be checked
on a regular basis: providers must maintain a record of these particular aspects
and when and by whom they have been checked.
Providers must determine the regularity of these checks according to their assessment
of the significance of individual risks.
The provider must take all reasonable steps to ensure that hazards to children –
both indoors and outdoors – are kept to a minimum.
Statutory guidance to which providers should have regard
The risk assessment should cover anything with which a child may come into contact.
The premises and equipment should be clean, and providers should be aware of the
requirements of health and safety legislation (including hygiene requirements). This
should include informing and keeping staff up-to-date.
A health and safety policy should be in place which includes procedures for identifying,
reporting and dealing with accidents, hazards and faulty equipment.
Childminders are continually assessing the risks in their surroundings, whether this
is at home or when out and about, at toddler groups, parks etc.
Every morning Childminders check to ensure their homes are safe for caring for children,
but most don’t document this so have no proof that it is done.
With the requirements under EYFS Childminders now need to record their assessments
on a regular basis. We have produced some templates that we hope will make completing
this task a little easier.
There is a detailed risk assessment for the home, along with a set of templates covering
a variety of outings.
In the Guidance booklet (page 17) it states ’The Statutory Framework for the Early
Years Foundation Stage requires providers to conduct a risk assessment and review
It is essential that children are provided with safe and secure environments in which
to interact and explore rich and diverse learning and development opportunities.
Providers need to ensure that, as well as conducting a formal risk assessment, they
constantly reappraise both the environments and activities to which children are
being exposed and make necessary adjustments to secure their safety at all times.
Providers must ensure that the premises, indoors and outdoors, are safe and secure.
This should include appropriate measures such as including indoor and outdoor security
as part of any assessment made. For example, ponds, drains, pools or any natural
water should be made safe or inaccessible to children. Staff should be aware which
doors are locked or unlocked, how to use door alarms and security systems, intercoms
and name badges.’
It then provides a list of the areas a good risk assessment will look at. We have
used this list to develop a downloadable sheet for you to adapt and use.