The EYFS has four guideline themes that must be followed to make a practice effective. These are: * A Unique Child * Positive Relationships * Enabling Environments * Learning and Development
Each of these under laying themes is supported by a set of four commitments. The purpose of this guide is to: * Define a safe environment; * Discuss the concept of children taking risks; * Explain risk assessment and how it contributes to a safe environment; * Identify and explain the relevant legal context; and * Offer a framework for managing the above, which includes reflective practice and policies and procedures. What is a safe environment?
A safe environment will start with the child and have the following components: 1. The Physical Environment
This is the setting where the care is taken place whilst maintain levels of security that keep children safe and protected from home. It includes Indoor and outdoor areas where the children explore, play and develop. If outdoor play is not advisable on certain days due to weather conditions, alternative arrangements should be made available to provide children with opportunities with physical play. For example outdoor factors might include:
* Age-appropriate playgrounds differ between pre-school and school not only in physical size and ability, but also in their cognitive and social skills. So therefore playground design is essential in adhere to high standards of safely.
* Outdoor space should be easily accessible for all young children, including those with physical or other disabilities. Safety rules should be posted and explained by teachers. Staff should conduct risk assessments regularly to ensure maintenance and safety of outdoor play areas. * To ensure the outdoor area is safe and secure. To ensure fences and gates are maintained closed at all time when not in use and that children cannot leave without an adult’s help. * When outdoor activities are being taken place, supervision of children’s is taken place at all times by members of staff. This meet the basic health and safety standards as outdoor may still present hazards to children. Because all playgrounds present some challenges for children in an unanticipated ways and therefore supervision in the playground must be more attentive for children 3-6 years than older children. * Pest control is another issue for health and safety as outdoor play spaces should be kept free of animal wastes, cleared of rubbish, sand box areas need to be covered when not in use. Pesticides should not be used on or near surfaces where children play. * Maintenance-all outdoor activity areas should be maintained in a clean and safe condition at all times. * Evacuation routes are clear and accessible at all times.
Indoor factors may be considered as the following: * Space standards * Windows and Doors * Electrical Fixtures * Heating, Ventilation and cooling * Water temperature * Pest Control * Classroom arrangement * Hall * Equipment, Toys and Materials * Cleaning of equipment, Toys and Materials * Hygiene * First Aid supplies
Space standards-There should be sufficient space for each child to ensure good academic achievement and health and safety for young children.
Windows and doors-Windows above ground level should be secured so that the children cannot climb through them also strings and cords that are long should not be accessible to children. All doors should be within