Health and Safety Policy
Criminal record checks and staff ratios
Only adults who have been checked for criminal records by an enhanced disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau have unsupervised access to the children, including helping them with toileting. Children are supervised by adults at all times and we follow strict child/staff ratios as determined by Ofsted.
Our risk assessment process includes checking for hazards both indoors and outdoors and for any risks in our activities and procedures.
- Daily before the session begins. These cover the hall, kitchen, toilet area and the outside play area attached to the hall. A risk assessment is also carried out on the cricket field before the children get there.
- Our risk assessment process is ongoing as we introduce new activities/equipment to the setting and reasonable adjustments are made to meet the needs of the children.
If appropriate and as necessary, we decide which areas need attention and develop an action plan specifying the action(s) required, the timescales for action(s) and the person responsible for the action(s).
Windows, doors and floors at the Village Hall
All floor surfaces are checked daily to ensure they are clean and not uneven or damaged. Windows are high up and secured so children cannot climb through them. We take precautions to prevent children’s fingers from being trapped in doors. The outside doors to the play area are secured to the building by latches, so they cannot blow closed when the area is open. This is the case on the play house as well.
The resources, materials and activities which children select and are involved in, are stored safely. All equipment and resources are stored or stacked securely.
Security during playgroup sessions
Systems are in place for the safe arrival and collection of children. Please refer to our “Arrival and collection of children policy”. Children’s arrivals and departures (if earlier than the normal session end time) are recorded and headcount checks made regularly. The arrival and departure times of visitors are recorded in our Visitors Book. Our systems prevent unauthorised access to our premises and prevent children from leaving our premises unnoticed. Please refer to our “Missing child policy”.
Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen. Cleaning materials and other dangerous materials are stored out of children’s reach. All surfaces are clean and non-porous and there are separate facilities for hand-washing and for washing up. Children taking part in cooking activities are supervised at all times and are kept away from hot surfaces and water and do not have access to any electrical equipment in the kitchen area.
Electric sockets, heaters, wires and leads are properly guarded and the children are taught not to touch them. The temperature of hot water in the children’s toilet area is controlled to prevent scalds. All electrical/gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly by the Village Hall Commitee. Our boiler/electrical switchgear/meter cupboard is not accessible to the children. Lighting and ventilation is adequate in all areas.
Fire doors are clearly marked and easily opened from inside. Our emergency evacuation procedures are clearly displayed in the premises and are explained to new members of staff, volunteers and parents. Please see our policy entitled “Procedure in the event of a fire or other emergency”. Emergency evacuation procedures are practised regularly with the children and staff (at least once every term). A record of each fire drill is logged in the playgroup’s “Emergency Evacuation File” and provides details of the drill and any action required afterwards.
Outdoor play area
Our outdoor play area is fenced securely and both this area and the cricket field are checked daily for safety and cleared of rubbish before it is used (see section on risk assessments). All outdoor activities are supervised at all times.
The playgroup ensures that all resources and equipment are kept clean and in good order. The toilet area has a high standard of hygiene including hand washing facilities and paper towels to dry hands. Our daily routines encourage the children to learn about personal hygiene and we implement good hygiene practices by:
- checking the toilets regularly.
- making sure children wash their hands after toileting, before snack time and cooking activities, blowing their noses and so on.
- cleaning tables between activities
- staff wear protective clothing (eg disposable gloves) as appropriate
- providing tissues and encouraging children to blow their noses and wash their hands afterwards.
Children learn about health, safety and personal hygiene through the activities we provide and the routines we follow. The layout of the hall and the play equipment allows adults and children to move safely and freely between activities. All equipment is regularly checked for cleanliness and safety and any dangerous items are repaired or discarded. All materials (for example paint and glue) are non-toxic. Sand is clean and suitable for children’s play. Physical play and water play is constantly supervised. Children are taught to handle and store tools safely.
Food and drink
Staff who prepare the food for snack time (generally fruit, crackers, milk and water) understand food safety and hygiene regulations. All food and drink is stored appropriately. Snack times are appropriately supervised and children do not walk about with food and drinks. Fresh drinking water is available to the children at all times. We operate systems to ensure that children do not have access to food/drinks to which they are allergic. Adults do not carry hot drinks through the hall and do not place hot drinks within reach of children. The playgroup will notify Ofsted (within 14 days) of any food poisoning, affecting two or more children looked after on the premises.
First aid and emergency treatment or advice
At least one member of staff with a current paediatric first aid training certificate is on the premises at any one time. Our first aid kit complies with Ofsted’s requirements and is regularly checked by a designated member of the team (Marion McMullan) and re-stocked as necessary. It is easily accessible to adults but is kept out of the reach of children. At the time of admission to the playgroup, parents’ written permission for emergency medical advice/treatment is sought on the registration form.
Our “Accident/Incident” file is kept in a secure place and all staff and volunteers know where to locate it and how the forms should be completed. The entry in the “Accident/Incident File” should be signed by the parent/carer on collection to indicate that they have seen the report. We review this file termly to identify any potential/actual hazards that may need addressing within the playgroup.
Any serious accident or injury, serious illness or death of a child at playgroup will be reported to Ofsted and the Surrey Safeguarding Children’s Board. If the incident or injury requires any medical treatment by a doctor or a hospital, Ofsted will be notified.
Children’s prescribed medicines for a long term condition are stored in their original containers, are clearly labelled and are inaccessible to the children. Parents give prior written permission for the administration of medication. The administration is recorded accurately and parents sign the record to acknowledge the administration of a medicine. If the administration of prescribed medication requires medical knowledge, individual training must be provided for the relevant member of staff by a health professional. See “Administration of Medications policy”.
The playgroup’s “Infection control policy” (HPA guidelines) for the exclusion of ill or infectious children is discussed with parents. This includes procedures for contacting parents or other authorised adults if a child becomes ill at playgroup. Ofsted is notified of any infectious diseases which a qualified medical person considers notifiable.
We have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance. The certificate is displayed on the playgroup’s notice board.
|Date policy written: Aug 2011|
|Reviewed: Oct 2011|
|Reviewed: Sept 2013|
|LAST REVIEW DATE: Oct 2014|