Standards of Care: Health, Safety and Hygiene
There are a few things to consider as far as health, safety and hygiene issues are concerned in any environment for toddlers. First of all, is the entrance to the setting secure?
Second, all staff working in an early years setting should be CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) checked for the prevention of abuse.
Third, the classroom should be a safe place for toddlers. Furniture should be arranged in a way, which minimizes the risk of accidents because toddlers easily fall over. Chemicals and cleaning products should be kept out of reach of toddlers who tend to put everything in their mouth. Craft materials should be stored securely and used by toddlers under teachers and other staff's supervision during set times.
Fourth, toys should be checked regularly for safe use purposes and anything broken should be disposed of. Equipment and materials for the use of toddlers should be toddler friendly, taking into account their physical capabilities. (Age appropriate toys, child-sized chairs, tables, toilets and so forth are recommended).
Fifth, every early years setting should maintain a good standard of environmental cleanliness and hygiene at all times. Health and hygiene practices go beyond general household cleaning. The sterilizing of toys and play equipment, for example, can help prevent potential diseases from spreading. Ideally, this should be done as often as possible, even when the latter are clean in appearance. Governments' recommendations make this necessity clear and recommend that early years' care and education providers to make 'the sterilizing of toys' an integral part of their setting's policy.
Sixth, there should be a separate room dedicated to nap time with adequate sleeping facilities for toddlers. There should also be an area designed for changing diapers (nappies) and potty training, ideally in the toilet area. Hygiene routine to change and dispose of soiled diapers (nappies) should be observed at all times, and staff should wear appropriate apron and gloves when dealing with toddlers' toilet mess.
These standards of care are crucial for early years settings wishing to meet excellent school environment for toddlers criteria.