1.1 Factors to consider when planning healthy and safe environments and services.
To member every child is an individual- with different needs depending on their age and abilities. You must think about this when planning activities, for example when they involve physical play, or if more consideration must be given to the needs of a child who has just became mobile than to an older child, when planning room layouts.
Some children have specific needs such as sensory impairments, for example think about the challenges to a child with limited hearing understanding explanations about safety.
The different needs of families and carers must be considered.
Always be clear about why you are you using the environment in a question, the activities a child encounters and what sorts of services are offered,
The duty of care of a setting to children, parents and carers is a legal obligation. You should always have the child’s safety and welfare uppermost in your mind when planning.
The desired outcomes for the children and young people are the starting point. Most activities with children and young people should have clear aims and objectives that are based around the required outcomes linked to their age, for example the EYFS for children under 5 years of age.
Lines of responsibility and accountability: everyone employed in a setting has a responsibility for the health and safety of children and staff, but there should be clear reporting responsibilities.
1.2 Monitor and maintain health and safety and encourage safe working.
Health and safety policies and procedures in any setting should be clear about all aspects. Room risk assessments should be done to ensure that the room itself and the equipment is working well and is safe. Some of these checks are required by law; for example electrical equipment must be checked by a qualified electrician every year.
It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure these health and safety checks are carried out as required. In the case of an accident, failure to check equipment could have some serious implications.
Nurseries, schools, summer play schemes- almost every setting where children and young people are supported- have visitors on most days therefore the a person who runs a place of work, entertainment, shopping and so on must be sure that anyone who works there or visits, for whatever purpose, is not exposed to hazards that could injure them or cause illness.
It is also important that visitors go by the safety guidelines to protect children and young people in the setting as well.
People who work there will be aware off health and safety. It is important for the Manager to note down the following information on a visitor that comes to the setting. How long they are at the setting
Which areas of the building they have access to
Their role and responsibilities
Contact with the children or young people at the setting.
[A plumber who is mending the heating system and who needs to move around the building needs briefing on personal safety, but also on the importance of always having a member of staff around when there are children in the area.]
Someone who is coming to the setting for half hour meeting with the head or manager needs only very basic information-mainly to protect themselves in case of a fire.
1.3 Sources of guidance for planning healthy and safe environments and services
The setting you work in should have copies of the latest legislation and guidance as well as their own policies and procedures.
The internet is a very good source of information, with sites that are specific to children and young people. Websites below help:
Health and safety executive: www.hse.gov.uk/
Child accident prevention trust: www.capt.prg.uk/
Department for education: www.education.gov.uk
England and Wales- www.standards.dcsk.gov/ul/eyfs/site/requirements/ index.htm