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Sample risk assessment – COVID-19 increase in childcare provider numbers from June 2020 (RA100)

Last Updated 9:19am, 28 May 2020


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Please read this information before completing this risk assessment.

This is a model risk assessment and must be adapted to reflect the significant hazards and control measures present in your site to allow the safe return of children and staff to your childcare setting. This is a live document, and it must be continuously reviewed alongside the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) government guidance. It must also be read alongside existing risk assessments and health and safety arrangements for your setting.

The control measures listed are prompts and will not necessarily reflect those in all establishments and you must adapt it by adding (or removing) and outlining in detail the control measures as appropriate to your establishment.

Please report suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) to the local Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection team on 0300 303 8162 (press Option 1, Option 1). This will enable you to discuss the outbreak control measures that are needed and the information to be communicated to others.

This document is to remain under constant review due to the fast-changing nature of Department for Education (DfE)/government guidance in response to the challenges posed by coronavirus (COVID-19).

This risk assessment is generic and each childcare provider is responsible for reviewing and amending to ensure it is applicable to their setting. This risk assessment should be read alongside Devon guidance Early Years-reopening 1st June (need to link to doc).

This return to childcare risk assessment is based on the principles and guidance contained within DfE guidance for coronavirus (COVID-19):


Establishment details

Child care provider
Manager / Owner
Date assessment completed

Movement of persons around the setting

Hazard Control Measures
Entrance and exit to childcare setting causing people to congregate compromising social distancing
  • Stagger drop-off and collection times. Plan this and provide information to parents.
  • Discourage parents from gathering together and implement social distancing outside the setting to minimise the adult to adult contact.
Travel and outings
  • If you go out of the house or setting, please risk assess and speak to the parents.
  • If possible do not use public transport.
Increased numbers during breaks compromising social distancing
  • Keep to small groups (a bubble), with no more than 15 children per small group and adhere to the EYFS ratios. Bubble = a group or a small cohort (schools 15, nursery guidance due out today but expected to be similar to schools).
  • Activities / tables to be spaced as far apart as possible. Set out playroom where possible to ensure access to outside space and their age appropriate equipment and resources, whilst preventing mixing with other bubble groups.
  • Reduce movement around the setting using timetabling and appropriate selection of other learning environments – i.e. outdoors
Increased numbers during lunchtime compromising social distancing
  • Staggered lunchtimes in bubble groups with hand washing – tables kept apart. Or lunches delivered to bubble groups/playrooms.
  • Ensuring everyone keeps further apart than normal.
  • Cleaning of tables, chairs etc between uses by different bubble groups.
Spread of virus due to increased numbers of people within the building
  • Inform parents that if their child needs to be accompanied to setting only one parent should attend.
Inadequate social distancing measures leading to spread of the virus
  • Always keep bubble groups together where possible – in same small groups of maximum 15 children and not mixed on subsequent days.
  • Each bubble should retain the same staff, no mixing of groups e.g. lunch, playtime.
Hazard Control Measures
Changes to building use being safe for pupils and staff – e.g. storage, one-way systems, floor tape
  • Review your settings risk assessment to ensure control measures remain suitable and in place.
  • Update risk assessments to include coronavirus (COVID-19) and any changes that have been necessary (e.g. hand washing, one-way systems, allocation of specific areas).
  • Consider how the layout will enable access to outdoor space and the equipment necessary for each bubble group. Consider how changes will impact on arrangements such as safe fire evacuation routes (see below).
First aid procedures – reduced numbers of first aiders and paediatric first aider
  • Review First Aid procedures.
  • Rota systems in place to ensure adequate numbers of PFA trained staff.
  • Communication of first aid arrangements cascaded to staff daily.
Fire procedures
  • Review the fire procedures taking into consideration any changes made to the layout, and the impact this may have on fire evacuation and escape routes.
  • Ensure that testing and monitoring regimes are in place for fire detection and alarm systems, fire extinguishers and that any interim arrangements (such as doors propped open where necessary to reduce hand contact), are managed so that they do not compromise fire protection (and security) measures.
  • Review where required fire evacuation routes and assembly points to ensure that social distancing guidelines are being met.
Water hygiene – management of legionella (where appropriate)
  • Review the water hygiene management plan.
  • Ensure that agreed regimes for flushing and monitoring of temperatures have been maintained throughout any period of closure / partial opening.
  • Where regimes have not been maintained ensure that cleaning and disinfection has taken place prior to reoccupation as per government guidance Managing school premises during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (and NPS guidance: Water Hygiene Management during Covid-19 Lockdown).
Using and monitoring new practices to reduce risk of Covid-19 transmission
  • Training of all staff via briefing prior to start – to include contents of this RA, alternative layouts and any changes to fire evacuation routes, use of PPE, cleaning arrangements, location of designated room for suspected cases.
  • Daily morning and end of the day briefings. Managers must monitor arrangements throughout the day and make remedial actions where needed.
  • Ensure there are opportunities for all employees to raise concerns / make suggestions.
  • Review Setting Policies and Procedures – including safeguarding – to include coronavirus (COVID-19).
Staff rooms and offices to comply with social distancing and safe working practice
  • Numbers of people reduced at one time on a rota to allow social distancing – chairs removed/placed apart. Avoiding unnecessary gatherings.
  • Where possible reduce the use of communal / shared facilities such as tea and coffee facilities and encourage staff to bring their own food and utensils.
  • Enhanced cleaning regimes as per below.
Ventilation to reduce spread
  • Open windows and prop doors open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety, security and safeguarding).
  • Where mechanical ventilation is present, recirculatory systems should be adjusted to full fresh air.
  • If mechanical ventilation systems cannot be adjusted to full fresh air these should be switched off.
  • Ventilation to chemical stores should remain operational.
Management of waste
Activities to take place outdoors in line with social distancing
  • Decide which activities can take place outdoors and refresh risk assessment for outdoor space.
Hazard Control Measures
Inadequate training for Managers on completion of RA for COVID-19, leading to anxiety and lack of the reassurance needed for staff
  • Guidance, risk assessment and checklist provided to Childcare Providers support will be via you Early Years & Childcare Adviser.
Insufficient staff capacity to deal with increased numbers of children – Shortage of staff to maintain EYFS ratios
  • If there are any shortages of staff, use the DfE list to prioritise who is offered a place based on staff availability.
  • Follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for staff ratios where possible and follow the Disapplication Guidance.
Anxiety levels of staff and community causing breakdown in staffing ratios, compromising group sizes
  • Talk to staff about (or where not possible put in writing) the plans (for example, safety measures, timetable changes and staggered arrival and departure times), including discussing whether training would be helpful.
  • If appropriate, seek GP or occupational health advice.
Staff understanding of new changes – safe practice at the setting
  • Talk to and involve staff with the planning (for example, safety measures, timetable changes and staggered arrival and departure times).
Accessing testing arrangements are clear for all staff
Conditions for use of fluid resistant face mask and other equipment when dealing with a symptomatic child are clear and understood by staff
  • If a child, becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) while in the setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home a face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 meters cannot be maintained.
  • If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then gloves, an apron and a face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn
  • Ensuring that fluid resistant face masks are available and a supply is maintained.
  • See the government guidance on safe-working in education childcare and children’s social care including the use of PPE.
Assessment of all staff, including high risk staff with vulnerable / shielding family member, underlying health conditions or other risk factors
Staff use of PPE
Use of PPE / lack of understanding
Dealing with suspected and confirmed cases
Hazard Control Measures
Children with EHCP
  • Complete risk assessment before attendance, for advice on Inclusion contact your Babcock Early Years Consultant for childminders please contact your Early Years Advisor.
Children unable to follow guidance
  • Ensure that the same staff are assigned to bubble group. Some children will need additional support to follow these measures.
Specific issues for EY stage children understanding social distancing
  • Further EYFS stage guidance to be issued.
Vulnerable groups who are clinically, extremely vulnerable
Member of a bubble group becoming unwell with COVID-19
  • If a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved to an area where they can be isolated behind a closed door, depending on the age of the child and with appropriate adult supervision. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people. Allocate a suitable room for this purpose and communicate intentions to staff.
  • Ensure suitable PPE (including fluid resistant face mask) is available at this location.


Hazard Control Measures
Travel to setting and provision of safe transport
  • Consider transport arrangements and where possible encourage parents and children to walk or cycle to the setting where possible.
School Transport arrangements support changes to school times

Provision of food

Hazard Control Measures
Kitchen facilities comply with latest COVID-19 guidance to reduce risk of infection/contamination
Food that is able to be prepared on premises is compliant with COVID-19 health and hygiene guidance
  • As above
Catering staff are operating in a safe environment

Communications with parents and others

Hazard Control Measures
Parents, contractors and other staff entering or working in the setting
  • Tell parents, carers or any visitors, such as suppliers, not to enter the childcare setting if they are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus. Inform all visitors, suppliers, and contractors that only pre-arranged calls will be allowed on site.
  • Publish a site telephone number in case of immediate access is required.
Suppliers understanding and complying with new arrangements
  • Discuss new arrangements with suppliers and deliveries to be arranged for quiet times or outside setting hours
Communications to parents and staff
  • Regular communications, update emergency contact details for all children
Parent aggression due to anxiety and stress
  • Tell parents their allocated drop off and collection times and the process for doing so, including protocols for minimising adult to adult contact (for example, which entrance to use) to reduce anxiety.

Manager/owner recommendations – Additional control measures or actions

Section List Actions / Additional Control Measures Date action to be carried out Person Responsible

Sign Off

Signed (Manager/Owner

The outcome of this assessment should be shared with the relevant staff.A copy of the completed assessment to be kept on file and copied to the Health and Safety Co-ordinator.