Identify legislation which influences healthy, safe and secure environments for early year’s settings According to www.hse.gov.uk “COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health. You can prevent or reduce workers exposure to hazardous substances by finding out what the health hazards are, deciding how to prevent harm to health (risk assessment), and providing control measures to reduce harm to health”.
Legislation which influences healthy, safe and secure environments for early year’s settings include Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 (COSHH), The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA), Reporting Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1984 (RIDDOR), Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 and Childcare Act 2006 and the EYFS reforms. According to Tassoni P et al 2007 page 161 “All employers have legal responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This means that employers must meet certain rules to make sure people are safe in their place of work”.
(D1) Explain how legislation can support strategies to establish and maintain healthy, safe and secure environments in early year’s settings According to www.northamptonshire.gov.uk “Childcare Act 2006. This act places new duties on local authorities in England and Wales requiring them to work in partnership across all sectors (including the private and voluntary) to shape the provision of childcare and delivery of early years services, raising quality and improving outcomes for all children and parents”.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 (COSHH) supports ways to keep the setting safe and healthy because it provides the safety of any potentially dangerous substances. It gives us clear guidelines on how to store harmful substances, as this will keep people from becoming ill or injuring themselves, it states that harmful substances must be labelled correctly, for example toxic, harmful, flammable or corrosive, this will ensure they are used correctly. For example in my setting medicines are kept in locked cupboards and up high so they are out of reach of children. Bleach and other cleaning products are kept out of reach of children and in locked cupboards.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) supports to keep the setting healthy and safe because it ensures there is a safety representative available to tell practitioners what to do if an incident occurs, risk assessments are carried out to minimise risks.
According to www.education.gov.uk “The act also lays out registration and inspection arrangements, providing for an integrated education and care framework for the Early Years and general childcare registers”. The Childcare Act 2006 and the EYFS reforms in 2012 support to keep the setting safe, healthy and secure because it ensures that all members of staff are CRB checked to ensure they are fit for practice, it enables that staff know fire procedures and know what to do in an event of a fire, fire detectors must be in good working order, fire exits must be clear at all times to ensure there is a clear exit in case of a fire. This act enables there is enough staff in the setting for the correct supervision of children, for example zero to two years old, there must be one adult to every three children.
If a child has sickness and diarrhoea then they should be moved away from the other children. They should be changed them out of their dirty clothes and given a clean set and they should then be cleaned so they feel more comfortable and prevent them getting any worse. They may have a temperature so they would be needed to be cooled down by sitting them near a fan but not direct in front. If a child is showing signs of meningitis then a first aider should be called to assess the child, the child should then be isolated to prevent cross infection. The parents should be contacted
(D2) Explain how establishing a safe environment can support the procedures necessary for accidents, illnesses and emergencies According to www.hse.gov.uk “A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm”.
Carrying out risk assessments helps to establish a safe environment to support writing and putting into practice procedures for accidents, illness and emergencies because it allows us to check the area to prevent harm coming to anyone. If the setting is going on an outing then a risk assessment should be done a three days before to ensure the area is safe to visit. If a child has a disability then a risk assessment needs to be done one them to ensure all risks are minimised. There are different risk assessments for injuries, accidents and emergencies to ensure we know what to do to avoid or prevent an injury or accident. This helps procedures to be written because it allows the risks to be managed so the procedure can be written based on the area.
If a child was to injure themselves then the paediatric first aider would have to be called to assess the child and a first aid box should be available and be well stocked for example disposable gloves, plaster, wipes and tape. In order to record an accident properly the child needs to be assessed and everything that happened needs to be recorded for example what happened, who was there, when it happened and it should be signed at the time it happened and the parents should sign it to acknowledge they know what happened.
Working as a team and sharing information is a vital part of writing procedures to establish a safe environment as it enables everyone to know what is going on and if a child has a learning difficulty then everyone knows what they have to do to keep them safe. It allows people to share their knowledge of what to do to keep children safe, if there has been an outbreak of an illness a sign would be placed on the door of the setting so people know not to bring their child, in order to allow a clear exit to the building in the case of a fire, all fire exits need to be clear from toys and easy to open.
If there is a fire in order to get out safely, fire exit signs need to be clearly sign posted and they need to be followed. In order to prevent anyone getting hurt, there needs to be a designated assembly point and when everyone is there a register should be done to ensure everyone is there and safe. Establishing a safe environment can help procedures to be understood by everyone because of signs/
(E7) Explain the importance of helping children manage risk and challenge in their environment. According to www.teachingexpertise.com “Everyday life always involves a degree of risk and children need to learn how to cope with this. They need to understand that the world can be a dangerous place and that care needs to be taken when negotiating their way round it”.
It is important to help children manage risk and challenge in their environment as it will help them to make risk assessments and children who make risk assessments are more likely to be physically safe. For example when they cross the road they will have to think is it safe to cross and do I have enough time to get across, if they didn’t have enough time and they didn’t cross they made a successful risk assessment. If children never go out of their comfort zone then they may never go to the next stage of the development, they may not get the thrill of success once they have done something risky. When going on an outing, a risk assessment must be done on the area so the risks can be managed, any risks that can’t be managed should be explained so the children know and if they choice to do it at least the risks were explained.
For example if they are going to the local woods, there will be logs on the floor, this must be explained to the children before they go so they know to watch their footing.
According to Tassoni P et al 2007 page 195 “By helping children to manage risk, you are playing an important role in developing their independence”. By allowing children to manage their own risk means they will learn some independence and self-help skills, which will help them to make their own decisions and choice what they wish to do, for example if there is an activity that the child has never done before because they were scared of what might happen, then they should be allowed to do it after having the risks explained in detail. In order for children to take risks E8 they need to have the correct age and stage activities that will help them to move onto the next stage of development and take risks, for example if the child has never ridden a two wheeled bike then they should be allowed to try with assistance at first and gradually be able to do it on their own.
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(A1) Discuss the effect on practitioners of meeting the care needs of children According to Tassoni P et al 2007 page 336 “While all children have the same basic physical and health needs, the way that these needs are met will depend on the age and stage of development of the child along with other factors such as the child’s cultural needs”.
Practitioners may find it challenging to meet all the needs of the children as all children have specific needs, for example if we have a E8 child who is in a wheelchair then we would need to ensure we have an extra member of staff to support that child in their learning. In order to be able to support the child we need to ensure we have ramps so the child can access the building. This can be linked to planning activities to meet the age and stage of E8 the children, if the practitioner has a visually impaired child then they need to ensure they have the correct resources to be able to meet the child’s stage of development.
As an early years practitioner I have experienced a child not listening to me and then another member of staff has come along an asked the same thing of the child and they have done it. A situation that is linked to this is when a child came back from PE and it was my job to check their kit bag to ensure that they had shorts top and shoes, but when I came to a little girls she didn’t appear to have a top and I asked her where it was and she said I have it on and so I asked her to take it off and she said no I am cold, which then I suggested she put her coat on but she walked away and went outside, so I told my supervisor and she didn’t do anything. Which made me feel worthless and that I was just there as an extra adult and my opinion didn’t count for anything, but it also did make me feel that I need to be more firm and clearer with my instructions.
Another example is at my setting recently we have been focusing on the farm and as a part of that I was asked to do an activity with the children, the children had a sheet with six farm animals and they had to tell me what they were and write it underneath, I had to ensure the children put the letters in the correct order and wrote down all the letters they could hear, without doing it for them.
I had to help the children by sitting with them and saying the words so they could hear the sounds and write them down under the picture. There was a child who needed one to one support so I E8 ensured I did that child last so I could give the child my full support. I asked my supervisor what the best way to help the child and as the child couldn’t write their own name, they suggested that I did some hand over hand with the child. So I got the child to tell me what the animal was and what it began with and I put my hand over the top of his and we wrote the name of the animal. This made me feel a sense of achievement that I helped the child name the animals and say the first letter, while doing this activity I encouraged the child by saying well done when he got something right. According to www.helpguide.
(E9) Include references and a bibliography
Bruce T, Meggit C, 2007, Child Care and Education, Italy, Hodder Education
Tassoni P, Beith K, Bulman K, Eldridge H, 2007, Child Care and Education, Essex, Heinemann