Explain the dilemma between the rights and choices of children and young people and health and safety requirements.
It is important that a balanced approach is taken in risk taking so that the children aren’t over protected. The children should be allowed to safely explore and make decisions about risks with the guidance of the staff within the setting. Children need to learn how to control risks for themselves, by learning what the safe boundaries are, by the staff showing the children how to recognise risks and dangers in the safest way possible.
When children are doing new activities to improve their development it can create a conflict or dilemma between the duty of care and the children’s rights. As a practitioner I should always do risk assessments on the activities and the surrounding environments, making sure that the activity is age appropriate and take extra care with children with additional needs and new activities. I need to remember that is something goes wrong that I need to make a balanced decision between the risk and the children’s rights.
In my setting the activities are both child-led and adult-led and all activities are risk assessed. In the Pre-school room the children are often provided with free-flow play, flowing through the 2 pre-school rooms and sometimes the garden and/or the conservatory. The children are expected to wear appropriate clothing in the garden, but are free to go in and out of the garden as much as they please and they are able to choose any of the activities in the garden such as the ride-along cars, the climbing frame, hula-hoops, sand play and water play. During the free-flow play the staff are generally scattered evenly, unless there is conflicting ratios.