There are many strategies that are put in place in an early years setting to maintain a healthy and safe environment, all of these strategies are supported by legislations, as a child care professional it is my responsibility for the children’s safety that are in my care, There are many legal requirements that help to protect both the children and the staff in an early years setting, these may very from country to country and it is extremely important that every childcare professional is kept up to date with the legal requirements and know what is relevant to child care professionals working in this country, such as The Health and Safety Act 1974 This act ensures that all equipment and resources are used in the correct manor, keeping all children and staff members safe and out of harm. Control of substances Hazardous to health 2002(COSHH) This act states general requirements that employees protect staff and all children from hazardous substances used in a setting by carrying out daily risk assessments , Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations(RIDDOR) This act was put into place in 1995 to ensure that all deaths, injuries and diseases and dangerous occurrences that happen within a working environment or in connection with work for example if children were on a trip outside of the premises.
Childcare Act 2004 the EYFS have welfare and learning and development requirements which must be followed by all childcare providers to ensure a safe and secure environment is provided by all settings and childcare providers. Food Hygiene Legislation 2006, this act is in regards to the safe storage, handling and preparation of food, which included a number of routine checks that have to be followed to avoid any server health hazards. It is essential to provide an environment which supports and promotes children’s health and safety, in any childcare setting it is vital that all risks and potential hazards are minimised and in the event that anything does arise it is reported immediately, as a childcare professional you have to have the knowledge of how to keep every child safe in and out of the setting, for example when children are doing activities or going on a school trip, carrying out risk assessments every day, to ensure the environment is safe for children to learn and play.
Employees should take responsibilities of their own health and safety and that of others, ensuring that their action keep themselves and others around them safe, everyone in the childcare setting should understand the health and safety policies and be working together to ensure that the environment is a safe place to work and for the children who are being care for in the setting, for example staff should not leave hazardous substances in the reach of children. For all the childcare settings/ environments there are different national standards in the United Kingdom and the ratio for staff to children vary on things like the children’s age, the younger the children are the more staff you will need, because the younger the child the more dependant they are on an adult to care for them. The National Standards cover many different points about the standards of care for children and young people, for example: Dignity- settings must treat all staff, visitors and children and their families with respect at all times, enjoying full social relationships.
Privacy- All settings must adhere by the confidentiality act and all property must be looked after and respected. Choice- Setting must make informed choices in regards to the children and their families whilst respecting their rights. Safety- Setting must provide a safe and secure environment including children’s wellbeing and health making sure that each family is free from exploitation and abuse. A child care setting must promote the good health of the children, such as healthy eating and preventing the spread of infection among the children in the setting, all settings must have the appropriate ratio of adults to children to ensure that no child is unsupervised, it is very important to ensure that the environment is challenging and safe for the child to be in, making sure that all the toys, equipment and resources are suitable and safe.
E2 In a nursery setting there are many children, children often have accidents, in this situation in which there are a lot of children, they can often be scared and upset, as a childcare professional it is very important to know what must be done in an emergency and what to do in confidence and calmly to ensure that you help to prevent the injury becoming worse than necessary. You could be the difference between a child living or dyeing by keeping calm and applying the right actions to a situation, for example many children die due to people not having the skill to resuscitate the child. If a child has a bump on the head the procedure in my setting is to apply cold compress to reduce any swelling that may occur and have the child sit down in a quiet place, while filling out an accident report form I would watch the child for delayed signs such as dizziness, temperature and headache, and contact their parents if concerned. Once collected from school I would always inform the parent of a bumped head as head injury’s often have a delayed reaction and can show signs of damage hours later, this is why it is imperative to inform the parents/ carer of any bump to the head no matter how small.
If a child in my care experienced an asthma attack I would take them to a quiet area in the setting and sit them down so the child is comfortable, letting and or aiding them use their inhaler and sitting down until their breathing is under control and they are calm, I would the ensure to inform the child’s parents and fill out the appropriate incident forms. If a child in my care experience sickness and diarrhoea I would separate the child from the rest of the children as this illness may be contagious, making sure that the child is fully hydrated with water, while awaiting the parents to collect the child, monitor the child to ensure that the child’s condition does not develop or get worse.
Inform the parents/ carers that the child cannot return back to the setting until 48 hours after the last vomit or diarrhoea. Symptoms for meningitis do not appear in any order and some don’t appear at all, which can make it difficult to identify, some of the symptoms temperature, rash, vomiting and clammy skin are if I had any concerns in regards to child having meningitis my setting procedure would be to consult a supervisor and call the emergency services and the child’s parents, ensuring that the child is cool (if the child has a temperature) and as comfortable as can be and monitor the child until the ambulance arrives, if the child is of colour I would pay close attention to the child’s skin as a rash may not be apparent or clear to see. Often with meningitis the skin may become grey and clammy and the child may become sensitive to light and noise.
As a childcare professional if I had to plan for a one year old and a three year old children in my care for the day I would create a care plan which would look like the flowing: E3:Care Plan for a one year old 8.30-9.00 am: Welcome the children and their parents. Wash hands and have breakfast or morning bottle (180ml) 9.00-9.30am: Care Routines Check nappies and toilet training and wash hands. (parents have different preferences such as reusable nappies, what type of wet wipes or cream to use if at all) 9.30-10.00am: Story and rhyme time including singing activities 10.00-11.30: Group activity, an adult lead activities such as water or sand play, or outdoor play, going to the park or on a walk in their buggies, this encourages children to explore 11.30-11.45 am: Care routine- nappy changing and potty training wash hands, following the parent’s preferences, such as nappy cream and cloth nappies. 11.45-12.30pm: Lunch time children will eat a health meal (mashed to provide diversity following parent’s preferences or special requirements such as halal meat, if a child is lactose intolerant or has any allergies) 12.30-1.30pm: Garden or outside time- Playing outdoors helps children to explore and learn through play. 1.30-2.15: Nap/ Rest time – The children rest or sleep listening to soothing music 2.15-2.30pm:
Story time- Reading, this includes signing and music time or baby gym providing stories and songs from different cultures and country’s as a diverse and equal setting. 2.30-3.00pm: Care Routine – Nappy checks and changes and potty training and washing of hands. 3.00-3.30pm: Group activity- an adult lead activities such as water or sand play outdoor play, going to the park or on a walk, sensory activity such as treasure baskets or soothing lights and sounds. 3.30-3.45pm: Care routine/ home time- Nappy checks and changes, potty training, wash hands and faces and more free play awaiting parents to collect their children. E4:Care Plan for a 3 year old 8.30-9.00 am: Welcome the children and their parents. Wash hands and have breakfast 9.00-9.30am: Care Routines toilet training/break and wash hands. , following the parent’s preferences, such as nappy cream, soap uses and pull ups or nappies used. 9.30-10.00am: Story and rhyme time including singing activities, talking about the book we read, speaking and listening activities, social development. 10.00-11.00am: Snack time and washing hands snacks will include milk fruit and vegetables such as banana’s, peer’s, apples, carrot sticks, tomatoes and raisins. 11.00-11.30:
Group activity, an adult lead activities such as painting, water or sand play, role play, dressing up corner or outdoor play, going to the park or on a walk, this encourages children to explore and using their imagination and creativity in these activities Children also help to prepare room for lunch taking part in tidy up time. Table cloths are put out and cutlery ready for lunch time. 11.30-11.45 am: Care routine- toilet Break/ Training wash hands. 11.45-12.30pm: Lunch time children will eat a healthy meal with each other while learning good table manners and about food. Providing diversity following parent’s preferences or special requirements such as halal meat, if a child is lactose intolerant or has any allergies) 12.30-1.30pm: Garden or outside time- Playing outdoors helps children to explore and learn through play. 1.30-2.15: Nap/ Rest time – The children have a choice to sleep/rest if they want to while listening to soothing sounds or reading a book, if the children choose not to rest/ sleep drawing, junk modelling, chalk drawing, playdoh or painting will be provided for them. 2.15-2.30pm: Story time- Reading and talking about the book, this includes signing and music time. 2.30-3.00pm:
Care Routine –toilet break/ training and washing of hands. 3.00-3.30pm: Group activity- an adult lead activities such as painting, water or sand play, role play, dressing up corner or outdoor play, going to the park or on a walk, this encourages children to explore and using their imagination and creativity in these activities 3.30-3.45: Care routine/ home time- toilet break/ training, wash hands and faces and more free play awaiting parents to collect their children. Within both of these plans for both age groups I would ensure that all activities were age appropriate for the age and developmental stages of the child/ children taking part, ensuring that the activities that are provided are of the interest and covering the learning development of the child/ children involved using previous observations during the planning process to identify any interests whilst supporting the needs of every child in the setting at the present time, practising and providing an equal and diverse environment.
E5: Planning in a setting is extremely important to ensure that the environment is a healthy challenging one, creating a suitable environment with suitable materials and resources for children’s play development and learning; your planning may be related to the children’s developmental stage or their interests, planning is the key to any successful activity but there are many affects and issues involved in planning such as following all policies and procedures, ensuring that the environment and the activity planed is safe for all children to take part in, other elements such as children’s different developmental stages, abilities, the age of the children, having children from 0 – 5 means that their developmental stages are very different, this may become a problem while planning an activity, taking this all into consideration when planning, as a childcare professional I believe that it is very important to plan activities for all children within the setting providing fair opportunities, when planning an activity it is important to think about the environment/space, staff ratio and the resources available to use.
Bearing all of this in mind, when planning an activity in a setting as a childcare professional it is important to ensure that you create an environment that is challenging and promotes learning through play with a healthy environment. When planning and thinking about the setting I would ensure that the space and resources were suitable thinking about all the children and their developmental stages, I would ensure that the activity would be assessable to all children. E6 There are a few initiatives and schemes which influence environments for children’s play such as Forest School’s and children centres.
Forest School is an outdoor education in which both children and adults visit the forest or woodlands to learn social and technical skills, this type of learning provides a hands on experience building social skills and confidence, helping to build self- esteem and independence in children. Forest school covers topics such as the natural environments such as seasons, trees and what part they play in the environment, weather, wilderness, plants and animals, the most valued aspect of forest school is teaching team work and problem solving especially in young children, the forest / woodland is also used to teach other subjects such as maths and science. Children centres have the potential to give children of preschool age the best start in life, making a big difference to the children and their families in the UK. Children centres are mainly attached to schools enabling them to reach out to the families that are at a disadvantage, meeting the needs of families which are in the area, children centres work with many outside agency’s such as; Midwifes, Health visitors Doctors, Police, Councillors, and Speech and Language Therapists.
This is an initiative that widely influences the provision and provides a challenging environment for children and their families. E7As childcare professionals it is important to provide a safe environment for children to play and learn, alternatively children need to also be helped to learn to asses and manage risks, Children need to gain confidence and be independent of themselves, providing some challenge whilst being taught will help the to evaluate the risk of a situation and consider their safety and the others around them, for example outdoor play helping children to think about climbing and how high they want to climb, safety awareness is very important for children to understand, such as the concept of hot and cold and the consequence for example if you put your hand in the fire it will burn you and your hand will hurt. Letting a child manage and asses risk according to their developmental stage they are able to develop life skills and use their own judgement so they can explore limits within a controlled environment and build confidence by making decisions and form a sense of danger which will then provide a child with the knowledge to make safe decisions.
We help children to asses risks and manage them by speaking to them asking questions to be able to identify their understanding and explaining the risks to them, for example, a 3 year old child that is in my care is currently being taught about road safety and how to cross the road, I explain that we have to hold hands in order to cross the road, the child asks why, I explain that there are cars driving in the road and we need to hold hands and look both ways in order to be safe, the child acknowledges the cars driving in the road and knows to hold hands while crossing. E8 When working with children it is imperative to ensure that every child and their family’s needs are met within the environment, the needs of the child is observed and taken from the observations to provide a stimulating and challenging environment for each child. It is important to have a good working relationship with the people you work with, parents and the children, this type of positive environment will benefit everybody involved, most importantly the children. The environment will be welcoming and secure enabling the children to settle in quickly and relax into their day.
When there are good relationships between the parents and the setting the parents will be more open and take an interest into what the child is doing at school or nursery, the parent will be more willing to share information about the child which will give the staff more information to help to meet the child’s needs. There are many rights and Acts in place to ensure the wellbeing of children and adults in an early years setting as well as in a general work environment such as The Human Rights Act 1998 this Act ensures that both adults and children have a right as human beings to freedom of expression, confidentiality, and not to be discriminated against. This Act ensures that all the other acts and policies are adhered to. Every child has the right to be protected from all types of discrimination, all children have the right to an education and equal opportunities, freedom of expression of views and for the child’s best interests to be considered at all times and every child and their families have the right to confidentiality. In my setting the policies and procedures are read by all staff once a year, all staff sign that they have read and understood all policies and procedures.
D1 As a childcare professional it is my responsibility to ensure that the children that are in my care are kept safe at all times, there are many legal requirements that are in place to help protect children and adults in all settings, Each legalisation may vary from country to country and as a childcare professional you need to make sure that these are familiar and kept up to date, for example the Health and Safety Act 1974, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) and Reposting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences 1995 (RIDDOR) these are just a few that have been implemented into the care of children and young people, There are also many other procedures such as Ofsted inspection, this is when a government body comes to the setting and inspects the running of the setting and that all staff are complying with all of the above legal requirements, all permanent staff must be CRB check which provided a police check of and criminal involvement in the past 5-10 years.
It is good practise that settings work with the parents to enable to meet the needs of each individual child and their families, by working with the child’s parents the setting can provide a beter learning environment, staff can learn the child’s likes and dislikes, working with parents provides a much better understanding for the staff. It also helps to work with other professionals which is called TAC team around a child, this will consist of many different professionals depending on the child’s needs, this could be a head teacher, doctor, social worker, health visitor and a teacher all these professionals would work together to ensure that the child has a safe, challenging environment at home and at school.
D2There are many other policies that are in place to provide a safe, secure and healthy environment such as a daily risk assessment making sure that there and no obvious dangers to the children in the indoor areas as well as the outdoor areas before and during working hours, keeping the staff up to date with all training will provide a safe environment for children, such as first aid training, if staff go on regular refreshers courses this will keep all methods of first aid in mind enabling staff to dealt with a situation promptly and effectively if it should arise. If a setting is a safe and secure environment this will ensure that the procedures for all accidents, illnesses and emergencies are implemented and understood by all staff, making sure that all staff read all policies and procedures periodically and understand what they should do in the event of an emergency or accident. The policies for the setting should be assessable to all staff at all times, all staff should be trained and informed of what to do in the event of an emergency, all staff should know where to find all accident report forms and the parents contact details this can be implemented with adequate training and information given by management.
C1Forest School provides children with an understanding of the environment around them for example how oxygen works, what provides oxygen and how it helps them to breath. This method of learning supports the children’s development through appropriate hands on experiences and empowerment, for example forest school enables children to understand team work and working with other children to achieve a goal, it provides children with confidence and empowerment, independence and self – esteem.
Providing improved, secure and healthy outdoor spaces for children especially in some of the most needy areas can encourage young people and children, developing physically is extremely important, this development has lots to do with the environment and what facilities are available to the children, in these areas if the outdoor spaces are unsafe, unsecure and unchallenging this will hinder their physical development alternatively providing children’s play areas with this type of funding will help to develop the children’s physical needs, building self- esteem and confidence empowering children to be active and healthy.
B1 As a childcare professional it is important to understand and maintain the safety and privacy of each individual child and their families, confidentiality is based on trust and respect between the setting and the child and their families, if this is then broken this could have a devastating effect on the child involved. All information given to you by the parents or carers should be confidential and on accessed by the people that work with the child. All policies and procedures should be followed and all staff should understand children’s rights keeping up to date with all policies and laws to guarantee a safe and secure environment for the staff and the children. It is important to respect a child’s wishes, be sensitive and understanding, I think that it is very important to adjust my style and approach depending on the situation and the recipient intended.
A As a practitioner there can be both positive and negative affects when meeting the care needs of children, care needs are described as things such as potty training, toileting, washing, feeding, dressing, when doing toilet brakes and nappy changes there should be two members of staff present. When working with children you are vulnerable to accusations of abuse which is why you should avoid putting yourself or the child in a situation where this type of allegation can be made, during care procedures making sure that doors are slightly open, encourage children to do their own personal hygiene or playing games that involve secrets.