The key Components of a healthy and safe home based enviroment

As a home based child minder it is vital to understand the key components of a healthy and safe home environment as these are set out as requirements of the registering body in the U. K – OFSTED. The Ofsted publication ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’ clearly outlines the specific areas for The safeguarding and Welfare Requirements. These areas can be clearly defined under the following specific references when referring to this publication. Staff Qualifications: First Aid

Health: Medicines Food & Drink Accident or Injury Safety and suitability of Premises, Environment & Equipment Risk Assessment Information & Records. In the case of home based childcare the following areas would be determined to be the key components of a healthy and safe home environment: 1) Hygiene & Waste Disposal – minimizing the spread of infection The following areas will need to be considered when adopting good practice; Good personal hygiene – for self (role model) and others.

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Clean and disinfect floors, equipment and toys regularly Make sure you have good ventilation to prevent spread of infection Highchairs and changing mats need to be cleaned at every use Indoor rubbish bins need to be kept covered and emptied daily – clean and disinfect Domestic pets and other animals should not be allowed in the kitchen Keep bathroom floors clean and remember damp towels and face cloths can breed germs (it is a good idea for each child to have their own which are washed and dried

frequently) Use liquid soap in preference to bars of soap that can stay wet and breed germs (remember to clean soap dispenser) Keep the toilet clean – children should be taught to flush and put tissue down the toilet carefully (the handle is a source of potential infection so clean this, the seat and the inside and outside of the bowl daily) Wear disposable gloves when dealing with body fluids Dispose of nappies hygienically (plastic bags tied up and put into the outside bin is sensible) If parents use terry nappies – think about how you will keep soiled ones hygienically and how they will be washed and dried

2) Storage and Preparation of Food Safety Storing Food The following areas will need to be considered when adopting good practice; Cover all food that is left out Check the fridge temperature is no higher than 5°C and that the freezer is no warmer than -18°C Do not overfill the fridge – make sure air can circulate Never refreeze food that has thawed out Never store raw meat or raw fish next to other food. Wrap it well and put it at the bottom of the fridge so it cannot drip onto other foods Store cans and packets in a cool dry place (not above the cooker).

Check ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates frequently and throw away anything that is out of date Do not keep food or juices in their cans once opened – decant into an airtight container and store in the fridge Take care with fruit, salads and vegetables – store in the fridge when possible and always make sure they are washed before consumption – even if they say ‘washed ready for use’ – pay particular attention to fruit which is eaten with the peel on – e. g. apples Preparing Food Be aware of cross-contamination – do not use the same chopping board/utensils for raw meat, vegetables or ‘ready to eat’ foods – unless you wash AND DRY these thoroughly between uses Do not thaw food on a kitchen work surface, use a leak-proof container – check it is thoroughly thawed before use Harmful bacteria are NOT destroyed until food has been cooked at a temperature of 71°C for at least 2 minutes Safety at meal times

You and the children should always wash and thoroughly dry your hands before preparing or eating food Children should never be left unsupervised when preparing food or eating and drinking If using knives and forks, teach children how to use these safely – don’t let them wave cutlery about Ensure children sit down when eating and drinking to reduce the chance of choking or tripping over Care of Animals The following areas will need to be considered when adopting good practice;

Make sure animal bowls/utensils and food stuff are kept separate from humans – and washed separately Ensure pet housing is clean and hygienic Do not have pets in the house that are not tolerant of children Teach children how to care for animals properly Teach children to wash their hands after touching pets and NOT to kiss them or let the animals lick their faces Clean up any pet ‘accidents’ immediately and dispose of everything hygienically Check outdoor areas for animal feces before children have access – don’t forget neighbors have animals too!

Never leave children alone with any animals Have you checked if children are allergic to animals? Remember, if children have not been exposed to dogs/cats before, the parents may not know if they are allergic to them or not It is important to remember that even the most friendly, docile cat or dog might react violently to being touched by someone else if you are not there or to being in a lively, noisy group of young children. Ultimately it is my responsibility to keep the children safe.

2) Using Equipment according to manufacturers’ guidance The following areas will need to be considered when adopting good practice; It is essential that you only use equipment in line with the manufacturers’ guidance as to do otherwise could cause risk of harm to you or others Make sure you read all leaflets and warnings when you get a new piece of equipment – or replace something, as things may change. 3) Responding to accidents, illnesses and incidents

The following areas will need to be considered when adopting good practice; As a registered child minder the importance of a quick and effective way of responding to accidents, illnesses and incidents is paramount and these areas are clearly set out in my policy for my Procedure in the Event of Accident/Illness and Emergency In support of this policy I also have a written ‘Emergency Plan’ which will be practiced by all the children in my care as well as a ‘Fire Evacuation Procedure’. These procedures will also be known by all family members in my setting.

I also have my personal mobile phone which is always topped up with credit and an evacuation pack which adheres to data protection with emergency details should they be required. When handling/storing and administrating medicines, I will use the medication record which I use in my setting and I also have a chart produced by the Health Protection agency ’Guidance on infection control in schools and other childcare settings’ which I will use as a reference document when advising parents of which illnesses will exclude a child from my setting and for how long. I also have an appropriate first aid kit which is kept up to date.

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The key Components of a healthy and safe home based enviroment. (2016, Jul 03). Retrieved from