Risk Assessment in Early Years

Each child and every adult using your provision has the right to feel safe and secure. Assessing the risks in your environment is an important part of this; it involves you identifying potential hazards and considering any actions which may need to be taken to minimise the risk that they pose.

Risk assessment is something that most of us will do naturally in many environments, for instance, when walking in a wintry environment we may choose to wear boots with good grips, or avoid the patch of ground which is covered in ice. If we walk into a play room and see a small chair upturned then we will choose to pick it up in case anyone falls over it. Risks within the early years environment will vary in severity and although we may consider each risk, not all will need to be formally written down.

This toolkit will support you in assessing risks within your environment, and deciding which need to be formally recorded. The hazard may be a physical object such as a climbing frame, or an activity such as administering medication.

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage states that:

    "Outdoor and indoor spaces, furniture, equipment and toys, must be safe and 
    suitable for their purpose"

These quotes and more information can be found under the welfare requirement of "Suitable premises, environment and equipment" on page 33.

The toolkit will offer you examples of risk assessment forms that you can choose to complete, and will consider what risks should be assessed within your provision.

For further information, the last page of the toolkit provides a link to the Health and Safety Executive website which will provide current guidance and legislation to support you in assessing the risks in your provision.

Useful Downloads

Risk Assessment Toolkit

Risk Assessment Questions