The Provision of Healthy, Safe and Secure Environments for Children

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Unit 2 Assignment TaskThe provision of healthy, safe and secure environments for children| Describe why risk assessment approaches may differ at various stages of child development.Risk assessment is very important in a childcare setting, it is a way to ensure that any potential danger to a child has been noticed and all possible measures have been taken to minimise or remove that risk. The health and safety policy in the setting should have a section covering risk assessment and should cover things such as checking for hazards on a regular basis and deciding what measures need to be taken (if any), deciding on what action to take, how the action will be funded and who’s responsible for taking this action. A risk assessment should have a checklist to be followed which should include things like: heating, lighting, electrical and safety equipment, windows, doors, security, food, toys, fire risk, kitchen and outdoor play area. Risk assessments should cover anything which a child in the setting may come into contact with. It is a good idea for the setting to have one member of staff who carries out the health and safety responsibilities and has overall responsibility for safety and first aid in the setting, this person should carry out the risk assessments and organise any work that needs to be carried out as a result of their findings. The risk assessment itself may differ depending on the ages of the children who attend the setting, it is important therefore that the setting uses the appropriate safety equipment, for example if the setting cares for pre-school children they will need to use equipment such as socket covers, stair gates and fire guards, whereas this equipment may not be as appropriate for older children. Any equipment that is used in the childcare setting should conform to the British standards agency regulations, all equipment should carry the British kite mark as this indicates that it has been tested to British standards and meets the current relevant standards. If equipment has the CE mark it indicates that it conforms to the relevant European legislation. Any instructions, warranty’s or manuals for the safety equipment should be kept in an accessible place so that any staff members who use the equipment can refer to it if necessary, All equipment used in the setting should be checked on a regular basis to ensure they are still safe for use, are un-damaged and do not have any loose or missing parts, toys and equipment can quickly become damaged so just because it was checked yesterday does not necessarily mean it is safe today. Dangerous equipment could cause serious accidents or injury, staff should constantly be on the lookout for wear and damage.| Examine ways in which the care environment can be adapted to meet the health and safety needs of different age groups.The childcare environment could care for a range of different age groups and children of different stages of development will have different needs, also children are constantly changing, developing, learning and growing so the care environment must constantly change and adapt with them. Preschool children from 0-4 years will need lots of safety equipment and lots of supervision and guidance, primary school children from 5-11 years tend to be much more independent and are more aware of dangers, risks and consequences so although they still need supervision and guidance they have better coordination and awareness and no longer need the same safety equipment and level of supervision as the younger age group. Children who attend secondary school from 11-16 years have completely different needs to those who attend a pre-school setting, and for that reason the school would be adapted to care for the children appropriately and the risk assessment in a secondary school would also be adapted to be completely different to the risk assessment in a nursery or pre-school.Children of different ages have different levels of knowledge and awareness of...
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