The EYFS Statutory Framework states that you must take all reasonable steps to manage risks and determine where it is helpful to do some written risk assessments.
In order to comply with legislation you should:
- Regularly risk assess your house, garden, activities and outings especially when new children start
- Know how you will keep children safe on outings and plan for any extra risks
It used to be a requirement for childminders to write written risk assessments but this has been removed from the current version of the legislation.
In most normal day to day childminding, a written risk assessment is simply not necessary and just adds to unnecessary paperwork load.
However, from time to time, and especially when you are just starting out at childminding or doing something new, I think that it is very useful to go through the whole risk assessment process properly in writing at least once so that you know how to do it. Writing it out forces you to formalise the process in your mind so that any corners you choose to cut in the future, at least you know what you should be doing.
Free Risk Assessment Forms for childminders
Here is a very basic free written risk assessment form you can use.
Here is an example of how to fill it in.
List of Risk Assessments
This is a list of all the things I did risk assessments for in my house. It is only a guide to get you started, but if you are having trouble, you may find this useful:
Sainsburys, Tescos and other shops – risk of children getting lost, or traffic
Soft play gyms – risk of children falling from equipment
Toddler music club – risk of children getting lost
The library – risk of children getting lost
The park – risk of traffic, and children getting lost
The river/ feeding the ducks – risk of children falling in
Children’s Petting Farm – risks of loosing children, cold weather, touching the animals
Children’s Party – risks of loosing children, choke hazards, grown ups with cups of tea
Staircase – risk of falling down or climbing up the stairs
Rocking horse – risk of fingers getting caught under the rails
Fridge – needs to be kept at the correct temp
Freezer – needs to be kept at the correct temp
Toys – risk of broken parts or dirt from general use
Fire alarms – risk of batteries running out
Stair gates – risk of these coming loose or falling out of place
Dining area and kitchen – hygiene risks: cats and general dirt
Toilets area – hygiene risks: can get dirty from use
Hand towels and flannels – hygiene risks of cross contamination
Nappy changing area: hygiene risks from body fluids
Doors – risks of fingers getting caught in doors
Fireplace – sharp stone edge
Bathrooms – risks: wet floors are a slip hazard
Loose cables – risks: trip hazards or choking hazard
Front door – children getting out of front door
Choke hazards – babies getting hold of parts of toys intended for over 3s
Oven – burn hazard
Cat litter and cat food – hygiene hazard – children must not touch
Kitchen cupboard and bathroom cupboards – filled with poisonous chemicals
Kitchen knives – risk if children get access to them
X-mas tree – risk of cables strangle and electrical hazard; risk of glass baubles
Toys – risk of children falling off
Large garden toys – risk of children falling off
Plants – ie. The wisteria – risk of poison if leaves are eaten in large quantities
Child seats – making sure they are fitted correctly
Collection of child – risk of a stranger trying to collect the child
Cold/ hot weather – risk of cold or sun burn
Sleeping – child should be checked every 15 mins while asleep
Cats – infections such as worms can spread to children
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