Health & Safety Policy



Little Acorns Pre-school

Health & Safety Policy


Statement of intent

This pre-school believes that the health and safety of the children is of paramount importance.  We make our pre-school and the environment we use a safe and healthy place for children, parents, staff and volunteers.


Links to the Early Years Foundation Stage    

In addition, this policy relates to Section 3 - The Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements, as detailed in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.



We aim to make children, parents and staff aware of health and safety issues and to minimize the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment



The member of staff responsible for health and safety is Claire Luxon.  She is competent to carry out these responsibilities.  She has undertaken health and safety training and regularly updates her knowledge and understanding.


Risk assessment

Our risk assessment process includes:


·         Checking for hazards and risk indoors and outside and in our    activities and procedures.  Our assessment covers adults and children;

·         Deciding which areas need attention; and

·         Developing an action plan which specifies the action required, the timescales for action, the person responsible for the action and any funding required.

·         The forest school officer will complete a full site risk assessment/daily risk assessment and activity risk assessment prior to off-site Forest School sessions.


We maintain lists of health and safety issues which are checked:

·         Daily before sessions beginning;

·         Weekly; and

·         Termly, when a full risk assessment is carried out.


Serious Incident

In the case of a serious incident such as flood or severe weather the pre-school will not open.  Contact the chairperson to inform them of the need to close sessions until safe to open again.  Contact parents as soon as possible to advise them of closure of session.


Insurance cover

We have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance.  The certificate is displayed in the Operational Plan and on the internal Parents Notice board


Awareness raising

·         Our induction training for staff and volunteers includes a clear explanation of the health and safety issues so that all adults are      able to adhere to our policy and understand their shared       responsibility for health and safety.  The induction training covers         matters of employees well-being, including safe lifting and the storage of potentially dangerous substances.

·         Records are kept of these induction training sessions and new   staff and volunteers are asked to sign the records to confirm that          they have taken part.

·         Health and safety issues are explained to the parents of new children to that they understand the part they play in the daily life of the pre-school.

·         As necessary, health and safety training is included in the annual training plans of the staff and health and safety is discussed regularly at staff meetings.

·         We have a no smoking policy.

·         Children are made aware of health and safety issues through discussion, planning activities and routines.


Children’s safety

·         Only persons who have been checked for criminal records by an enhanced disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau (now the Disclosure and Barring Service) and are registered with Ofsted as child carers have unsupervised access to the children, including helping them with toileting.

·         Adults do not normally supervise children on their own.

·         All children are supervised by adults at all times.

·         Whenever children are on the premises at least two adults are    present.



·         Systems are in place for the safe arrival and departure of the children.  The times of the children’s arrival and departure are recorded.

·         The arrival and departure times of adults – staff, volunteers and visitors are recorded.

·         Our systems prevent unauthorised access to our premises.

·         Our systems prevent children from leaving the premises unnoticed.

·         The personal possessions of staff and volunteers are securely stored during pre-school sessions.



·         Low level windows are made from materials which prevent accidental breakage or are made safe.

·         Windows are protected from accidental breakage or vandalism from people outside the building.

·         Windows above the ground floor are secured so that children cannot climb through them.



            We take precautions to prevent children’s fingers from being trapped in doors.


            All surfaces are checked daily to ensure they are clean and not uneven or damaged.



·         Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen

·         All surfaces are clean and non-porous

·         There are separate facilities for washing hands and for washing up.

·         Cleaning materials and other dangerous materials are stored out of the children’s reach.

·         When children take part in cooking activities they:

-   Are supervised at all times;

-   Are kept away from hot surfaces and hot water; and

-   Do not have unsupervised access to electrical equipment.


            Electrical/gas equipment

·         All electrical/gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly.

·         Our boiler/electrical switchgear/meter cupboard is not accessible to the children.

·         Fires, heaters, electrical sockets, wires and leads are properly guarded and the children are taught not to touch them.

·         Our main heater is checked daily to make sure it is not covered

·         There are sufficient sockets to prevent overloading.

·         The temperature of hot water is controlled to prevent scalding.

·         Lighting and ventilation is adequate in all areas including storage areas.



·         All resources and materials which children select are stored safely.

·         All equipment and resources are stored or stacked safely to prevent them accidentally falling or collapsing.


            Outdoor area

·         Our outdoor area is securely fenced.

·         Our outdoor area is checked for safety and cleared of rubbish    before it is used including animal/bird droppings.

·         We leave receptacles upturned to prevent collection of rain water. Where water can form, it is emptied and cleaned before play.

·         Adults and children are alerted to the dangers of poisonous plants. herbicides and pesticides.

·         Where water can form a pool on equipment, it is emptied before children start playing outdoors.

·         All outdoor activities are supervised at all times.

·         A minimum of 2 adults are on duty outside and more if ratio’s require it.



We regularly seek information from the Environmental Health Department and the Health Authority to ensure that we keep up to date with the latest recommendations. We display the Health and Safety Law poster - ‘What you need to know’, stating the Health and Safety representative is Claire Luxon and Other Contact is Anna Woodcock.


·         Our daily routines encourage the children to learn about personal hygiene.

·         We have daily cleaning routine for the pre-school which includes play room, kitchen, toilets and nappy changing area.

·         We have a schedule for cleaning resources and equipment, dressing up clothes and furnishings.

·         The toilet area has a high standard of hygiene including hand washing and drying facilities.

·         We implement good hygiene practices by

-   Cleaning tables between activities;

-   Checking toilets regularly;

-   Wearing protective clothing – as appropriate;

-   Providing sets of clean clothes; and

-   Providing tissues and wipes and encouraging children to use them.


·         Before purchase or loan, equipment and resources are checked to ensure that they are safe for the ages and stages of the children           currently attending the pre-school.

·         The layout of 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 – including paint and glue – are non-toxic.

·         Sand and soil is clean and suitable for children’s play and covered when not in use.

·         Physical play is constantly supervised.

·         Children are taught to handle and store tools safely.

·         Children learn about health and safety and personal hygiene through the activities we provide and the routines we follow.


Food and drink

·         Staff who prepare and handle food receive appropriate training and understanding – and comply with – food safety and hygiene  regulations.

·         All food and drink is stored appropriately/

·         Adults assess the risk before carrying hot drinks through the play area to the office area. All hot drink are placed out of reach of the children.

·         Snacks and meal times are appropriately supervised and children do      not walk about with food and drinks.

·         Our menus for snacks are planned to meet the ‘eat better start better’ food and drink guidelines

·         We provide milk and water to drink and a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables together with a carbohydrate such as bread/crackers and rice cakes.  (We use nondairy butter).

·         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.


Outings and visits

·         We have agreed procedures for the safe conduct of outings.

·         Procedures to be followed on outings are contained within the Operational Plan.

·         A risk assessment is carried out before an outing or forest school  session takes place.

·         Parents always sign consent forms before major outings.

·         Our adult to child ratio is high normally one adult to two children.

·         The children are appropriately supervised to ensure no child gets lost and that there is no unauthorised access to children.



·         Animals visiting the pre-school are free from disease, safe to be with children and do not pose a health risk.


Fire safety

·         Fire doors are clearly marked, never obstructed and easily opened from the inside.

·         Our emergency evacuation procedures are in line with the Fire   Safety Order 2005 (FSO) and

-   Clearly displayed in the Operational Plan;

-   Explained to new members of staff, volunteers and parents; and

-   Practiced regularly at least once every six weeks.

·         Records are kept of fire drills and servicing of fire safety equipment.


First aid and medication

At least two members of staff with a current first aid training certificate (relevant to infants and young children) are on the premises or on an outing at any one time.  The first aid qualification includes first aid training for infants and young children.  At Forest School a first aid kit and accident record sheets and any medication/care plans required, plus full emergency details of children/staff and volunteers are kept in the forests school leaders backpack.


Our first aid kit:

·         Complies with the Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981;

·         Is regularly checked by a designated member of staff and re-     stocked as necessary;

·         Is easily accessible to adults; and

·         Is kept out of reach of children.

At the time of admission to the pre-school parents’ written permission for emergency medical advice or treatment is sought.  Parents sign and date their written approval.

Our accident book:

·         Is kept securely and accessibly;

·         All staff and volunteers know where it is kept and how to complete it; and

·         Is reviewed at least half termly to identify any potential or actual hazards.


Ofsted will be notified of any injury requiring treatment by a General Practitioner or hospital, or the death of a child or adult.


Any injury requiring General Practitioner of hospital treatment to a child, parent, volunteer or visitor is reported to the local office of the Health & Safety Executive.


We meet our legal requirements for the safety of our employees by complying with RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injury, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).  We report to the local office of the Health & Safety Executive;

·         Any accident to a member of staff requiring treatment by a General Practitioner or hospital;

·         Any dangerous occurrences (ie. an event which does not cause an accident but could have done).


Children’s prescribed drugs are stored in their original containers, are clearly labeled 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 book to acknowledge the administration of a medicine.


If the administration of prescribed medication requires medical knowledge, individual training is provided for the relevant member of staff by a health professional.



Our policy 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 pre-school.


Period of exclusion for illness

The following is a guideline to exclusion periods for common illnesses;

Sickness and diarrhea                      48 hours after last vomit/diarrhea

Measles                                           4 days from onset of rash

German measles                              4 days from onset of rash

Whooping cough                               Five days from starting antibiotic treatment, or 21 days from onset of illness if no antibiotic treatment

Mumps                                            5 days from onset of swelling

Chicken pox                                     When all spots have crusted over

Food poisoning                                 until certified fit by doctor


Children with Impetigo, Threadworm, Ringworm, Head Lice or Conjunctivitis must not attend pre-school until they have received adequate treatment for the condition mentioned.


If a member of staff feels that a child is unwell during a session, this will be discussed with the Supervisor and if necessary the parent will be contacted to collect the child early.


Ofsted and public health are notified of any infectious diseases which a qualified medical person considers notifiable.

Jewellery and accessories

  • Staff do not wear jewellery or fashion items such as belts or high heels, that may pose danger to themselves or children.
  • Parents to ensure that jewellery worn by children poses no danger such as earrings, bracelets or necklaces that may get caught or pose a risk of strangulation.
  • Ensure hair accessories are removed nefore children sleep or rest.

Safety of adults

·         Adults are provided with guidance about the safe storage, movement, lifting and erection of large pieces of equipment

·         When adults need to reach up to store equipment or to change   light bulbs they are provided with safe equipment to do so.

·         All warning signs are clear and in appropriate language.

·         Adults do not remain in the building on their own or leave on their own after dark.

·         The sickness of adults and their involvement in accidents is recorded.  The records are reviewed termly to identify any issues which need to be addressed.

·         At Forest School sessions Personal Protective Equipment should be worn for appropriate tasks.:

-   A hardhat must be warn when chopping down overhead branches.

-   Safety boots must be worn for all tool work.

-   Gloves must be worn if handling a storm kettle, clearing vegetation or for use on a non-tool hand.

Legal Framework

  • Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999)
  • Electricity at Work Regulations
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) (2002)
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992 (as amended2004))
  • Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations (1992)



In accordance with the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework, we keep records of;

·         Adults authorized to collect children from pre-school;

·         The names, addresses and telephone numbers of emergency contacts in case of child’s illness or accident;

·         The allergies, dietary requirements and illness of individual children;

·         Accidents; and Incidents

In addition the following policies and documentation in relation to health and safety are in place:

·         Risk assessment

·         Record of visitors

·         Fire safety procedures

·         Fire safety records and certificates

·         Operational procedures for outings

·         Administration of medicines Policy

·         Prior parental consent to administer medicine

·         Record of the administration of medicines

·         Prior parental consent for emergency treatment

·         Accident recording and review

·         Sick children

·         No smoking

·         Safeguarding Children Policy

·         Nappy changing Policy

·         List of First Aiders

·         Food Policy and Food Preparation Procedure

·         Allergy Policy

·         Non Collected Child Procedure

·         Lost Child Procedure

·         Equipment and Resources Policy

·         Outings policy

·         Intruder policy


·         Animals in the setting