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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

Risk assessment

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.


In Practice

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 regularly.


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.