Risk Assessment and Inspections

The statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets out legal requirements that all providers must meet, as well as having policy and procedures for assessing risk. This article runs through key steps to be taken and what you can expect when being inspected.

There are no details given on what the policy and procedures must cover, however inspectors would expect you to cover how and when risk assessments are carried out, who is involved in assessing the risks, what records are needed and how these are kept.

What needs to be checked, how often it needs to be reviewed and what is recorded is down to the nursery provider. However, Ofsted has outlined a couple of points you should take into account:

  • The size and layout of the setting, taking into consideration stairs that may cause a hazard for the children, as well as outdoor areas.

  • The ages of the children in your care and whether children of different ages use areas within the setting.

  • Whether you want to include the children in your care in the risk assessment, including their heights, developmental understanding and their mobility.

  • If your setting is based in a shared building (for example a community hall) it may be a good idea to share your risk assessment with other users so risks are not introduced by others.

  • All members of staff, including volunteers, understand the risks that can affect and harm children and know how to manage them.

Riskinspections

What to expect when being inspected

When being inspected, inspectors will always consider whether the procedures a setting has in place are sufficient to reduce and eliminate risks by touring the premises and discussing policy and procedures with the management and staff. They may ask to see your policy and recorded assessments, especially if they have identified a risk within the premises. Make sure these are always kept up-to-date and all members of staff know where they are kept.

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