Childminder Guides > Early Years Safety Blog > Ofsted Inspection Comments about Health & Safety

Ofsted Inspection Comments about Health & Safety

Keeping children safe in the early years


Ofsted inspection reports can tell us a lot about what inspectors are looking, during inspection, for in relation to health and safety. They can also support practitioners who are updating risk assessments. Some recent inspection reports note the following concerns –


Hygiene – hygiene is poor in the setting – for example, children’s hands are not washed after touching animals or before they sit down to eat.


Garden – the garden is dangerous – for example, garden tools left out where children are playing.


Hand washing – the bathroom used by the children does not contain sufficient soap or single use towels for the children to use.


Car seats are not safe or suitable for the children – for example, they are not age-appropriate, or they have loose or missing parts.


Accident records – accurate accident records are not maintained; parents are not always informed about accidents, which is a breach of the statutory requirements.


Oral hygiene – drinks provided by the childminder contain ingredients that do not promote children’s oral health. Note that the DfE ‘Help for early years providers’ website says only to offer water or milk -


Fire safety - the childminder does not always know how many children are in the setting, which puts them at risk if there is a fire.


Hygiene – the floor is dirty and babies are crawling and picking up unsuitable objects to put in their mouth.


Health – the childminder is unable to identify risks in the setting – for example, young children can access hand sanitiser because it is left within their reach. If it is consumed it is harmful and toxic for children.


Medication administration is not recorded, which puts children’s health and safety at risk.



Nose wiping – children are wandering around the setting with dirty noses which the childminder does not encourage them to clean independently. This impacts their personal development.


Security – the premises are not secure – for example, children can get out of the garden through a broken fence panel; the front door is left unlocked and children can walk out without supervision.


Healthy food – the childminder does not comply with elements of health and safety legislation – for example, she provides children with snacks that are not considered healthy and nutritious.


Trampoline – the childminder does not follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the use of the trampoline in her garden and comply with the requirements of health and safety legislation.


Supervision – the childminder does not consider the level of supervision that is necessary when children play with particular resources – for example, children are left unsupervised when playing with small parts.


Online – ‘staying safe online’ messages are not shared with children when they are using the laptop.


Animals – the childminder has not carried out an effective risk assessment of a family dog that the they occasionally take children to visit.


Outings – the childminder does not complete risk assessments before taking children on outings. As a result, children are not kept safe.


Mealtimes – children are not kept safe at mealtimes because the childminder does not sit with them and fully supervise them when eating.


Sleeping – children sleep outside in the garden, but the childminder’s risk assessment does not consider the risks of open gates and low fences which mean children could be taken.


Supervision – risk assessments fail to ensure that the environment is safe as the childminder places too much emphasis on young children being able to follow rules, rather than directly supervising them.


There are lots of positive risk assessment comments in inspection reports – I have picked out some that have led to inadequate or requires improvement grades as indicators of how to prepare for inspection.

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