Risk Assessment & Management in Childcare Settings
Every child deserves the best possible start in life, with the opportunity to grow, develop and learn in an environment that is both safe and secure.
Parents sending their children to early educational establishments should be able to do so with the utmost confidence that their children will be getting the best possible experiences and are protected from harm at all times.
Providers have a responsibility and duty of care towards both the children as well as those who work and receive a service from their establishment. Individual employees also have a responsibility for ensuring their own health and safety as well as that of others is fully accounted for.
Educational facilities should have comprehensive risk assessments that highlight their procedures and allow competent persons in charge to implement these.
Staff in all settings, and at every level, should be involved in reviewing risk assessments, as they are the ones with first-hand knowledge of whether control measures are effective and can give an informed view to help update them accordingly.
Parents have an active role to play too. They should be made aware of their responsibilities such as closing gates behind them and not letting strangers into the building, and also encouraged to report any potential hazards to staff.
It is good practice to invite them to take part in reviews of procedures whenever possible. The basis of effective risk management is that everybody is involved and can therefore take responsibility for their safety and the safety of others.
For early childhood and educational services, understanding the basic concepts of risk assessment and management specifically where infants and children are involved can help create a strong culture of emergency preparedness and provide staff with the ability to most importantly prevent incidents from occurring, and secondly, to ensure the structure is in place to respond in the event of an accident or emergency.
The following three modules will look at some of the key areas c must be aware of when it comes to assessing and managing risks within their workplaces:
Module 1 – Understanding Risk Assessments
Module 2 – Understanding Risks, Hazards and Control Methodologies
Module 3 – The Five Steps of Conducting a Risk Assessment
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