Balliol Day Nursery: Risk Assessment

We believe that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance. We make our setting a safe and healthy place for children, parents and staff and volunteers by assessing and minimising the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment.

The nursery manager will be responsible for carrying out risk assessments on all equipment, activities and routines that take place in the nursery. Risk assessments must be carried out for all new equipment and activities and must be reviewed annually as part of the annual review cycle.

Staff will be required to carry out visual risk assessments of the setting before each session begins. We also have a garden checklist for our outside area, which staff are required to do each morning and afternoon before the children go out.

All staff will be responsible for reporting any broken or dangerous toys, equipment or parts of the building to the nursery manager immediately. The nursery manager will be responsible for securing or removing the item and arranging for any repairs or replacements.


Our risk assessment process follows five steps as follows:

  • Identification of a risk: Where is it and what is it?
  • Who is at risk: Childcare staff, children, parents, cooks, cleaners etc.?
  • Assessment as to whether the level of risk is high, medium, low. This takes into account both the likelihood of it happening, as well as the possible impact if it did.
  • Control measures to reduce/eliminate risk: What we will need to do, or ensure others will do, in order to reduce that risk.
  • Monitoring and review: How we know if what we have said is working, or is thorough enough. If it is not working, it will need to be amended, or maybe there is a better solution.


Our risk assessment process covers adults and children and includes:

  • Determining where it is helpful to make some written risk assessments in relation to specific issues, to inform staff practice, and to demonstrate how we are managing risks if asked by parents and/or carers and inspectors.
  • Checking for and noting hazards and risks indoors and outside, in relation to our premises and activities.
  • Assessing the level of risk and who it might affect.
  • Deciding which areas need attention.
  • Developing an action plan that specifies the action required, the time scales for action, the person responsible for the action and any funding required.


A risk assessment must be carried out before taking the children on any outing, in accordance with the outings policy.

Managing the learning environment

  • In order to provide a safe, secure, yet challenging environment for the children, adults will be required to think about the level of risk involved in activities and make a judgment based on the children’s abilities and stage of development.
  • Children will be supported to calculate risks for themselves and challenge themselves physically in a safe and measured way.
  • Nursery staff are aware of the safety implications of children being in a mixed age group setting. Care should be taken when setting out activities to ensure they are suitable to be used by all the children. Games and activities containing small parts that could present a choke hazard should be restricted for use with the older children and then only in a designated area, with direct adult supervision. Staff must ensure that all small parts are accounted for at the end of an activity and stored in a safe way, out of children’s reach.
  • Nursery staff are mindful to the implications of children of mixed ages sharing play spaces. Adults will actively train and encourage the older children to be thoughtful and take care around the babies. This will include curbing running or boisterous play when babies are joining in, or are nearby.
  • The older children will be given ample opportunity to take part in more active, boisterous activities away from the younger children.

19 October 2020

Back to Balliol Day Nursery Policies and Procedures