Children do not have the ability to detect potential dangers or assess possible risk. As you know as an Early Years service provider, keeping the children in your care safe is your top priority. The risk assessment process is an important way to create a structure around assessing and managing all types of risks to children and staff in your service. Structuring and documenting your management of risk is also very important in case of inspection.
We have been made aware of several incidents recently where children have left the early years service premises unaccompanied. A Child who poses a ‘flight risk’ is a child who may have a history or tendency for ‘flight’, meaning to flee from supervision should an opportunity arise, or to seek an opportunity to do so. As an early years service provider, your policies and procedures should include mitigating this risk.
Canavan Byrne have now developed a Child Flight Risk Assessment which we are including in the updated Risk Assessment – Audits and Records Pack available on the Early Years Shop. This form should be completed in collaboration with a child’s primary carers, key workers and/or parents. The form is 3 pages and includes space for information about the child and also a Corrective/Preventative Action List. The Corrective/Preventative List includes a description of each risk, the required action and the date completed. Includes are items such as:
- Are indoor and outdoor spaces fully secured?
- Is there a ‘real time’ sign in/sign out system in place?
- Are there regular headcounts done?
- Are indoor/outdoor daily risk assessments in use?
- Are blind spots identified?
For those of you have been recently inspected by Tusla you will know that risk management forms a large part of the inspection. Services who are found to not have proper risk checks and audits in place are then requested to submit them every month for three months to ensure risk assessment becomes habitual. We recommend you create scheduled risk assessments yourself before you are compelled to do so by Tusla.
Our Risk Assessment pack provides you with all the daily risk checks that you may require as well as an audit tool. The downloadable pack includes risk assessments for your building and operations (daily, weekly, monthly and annual). In addition, it includes risk assessments for staff (Garda vetting, pregnancy, manual handling etc.), risky play, outings, extreme weather and Special Safety Briefings.