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#1 shirel

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:28 PM

Just wanted to get some information from you all....a student was with us today and could not believe we all had cups of tea during the day...she said she has been in four nurseries and none of them allowed hot drinks in the room...am I naiive or is this normal practice for you all?

We carry our drinks in in a deep tray and they are only allowed to be put on the high shelf...we always have drinks and are always careful..... I understand that it is a risk but happy staff need tea and coffee, we are in the room from 9 until 3.30 with a 20 min break... and surely most children learn this 'life lesson' at home and wherever they go ...we are careful and they need to be aware of hot drinks being carried into a room and that they could burn..? :o
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#2 Posy

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:32 PM

We do not allow hot drinks in any of the areas where the children are. Staff can go into our kitchen for an elegantly named 'slurp and go' (the go bit is a toilet break-obviously not in the kitchen!)
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#3 Cait

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:34 PM

We have cups of tea, and keep them away from children on the high windowledges, never on the tabletops. We have them when children are sitting down for their own snack mainly, but there's that first one of the day when parents have all finally left and all the children are otherwise occupied. Staff have a minute or two to catch up on the happenings of the day before and ease into the morning

Edited by Cait, 30 April 2010 - 09:35 PM.

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#4 shirel

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:37 PM

Phew...thanks Cait...I was thinking of how the staff would take it if I have to change this....I don't have a problem with it as i am sure it is the strictly monitored...I would rather have the drinks with us than everyone leaving the room to have a drink....I think they would get otherwise occupied whilst slupring and it would take them off the floor so to speak..
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#5 narnia

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:57 PM

my own practice is not to have hot drinks around the children and my general rule of thumb about things like this is: if Ofsted were in and visiting, would you do it in front of them? If the answer is yes, I guess it's ok and if the answer is no, then maybe you need to revise how you do things?
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#6 Happydays1

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:01 PM

We are not allowed any hot drinks within the classroom due to health and safety risks.
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Posted 01 May 2010 - 05:41 AM

my own practice is not to have hot drinks around the children and my general rule of thumb about things like this is: if Ofsted were in and visiting, would you do it in front of them? If the answer is yes, I guess it's ok and if the answer is no, then maybe you need to revise how you do things?


we offered outr OFSTED I nspector a cup of tea on Wednesday (in a setting with 4-11 year olds) ansd she was really worried by it. We were sitting at the reception desk in a room with about 3 older children on computers at the time but she was worried about the staff member having to walk through the main room where children were3 playing football.

When she came back the next day we didn't have tea, and it was already the longest day of my life. (we got satisfactory - which keeps us OFSTED free for 3 years and that is good enough for me)

We usually give the Inspectors tea - but this is the first inspector to be worried. I said I ma sure childeminders make themselves tea. It is all down to taking proper precautions

#8 Gezabel

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 06:08 AM

Definitely no hot drinks in the rooms where children are present for us. Just not worth the risk, keeping out of reach seems fine but the drinks still have to be carried into the room and whilst drinking them, even with all the care in the world a scalding accident could easily occur. We just decided it wasn't worth it. I am a coffee addict but I 'slurp' before I open up and to be quite honest I don't know that I would have time to drink coffee during the morning. The time flies by and one minute I am doing the register and the next it's time to wash hands for lunch :o
We used to have drinks in the room ages and ages ago and reduced the risk of accidents by using 'travel cups' with lids, on occasions we found that they didn't get drunk, got put down quickly to deal with a child etc etc and just decided to stop it all together and all staff have been fine. Staff now access the water machine if thirsty and hot drinks wait until lunch time.
I agree that children need to learn about hot drinks but am not sure it is something they should learn with us?
My question would be if your child was scalded by a hot drink in preschool what would your reaction be?

Sorry not having a go at anyone but I was really surprised to read that hot drinks are 'still around' in settings I thought it was something that generally 'went out' some time ago

#9 Marion

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 06:51 AM

We bought those non spill insulated cups to use.
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#10 dublinbay

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 07:17 AM

We have hot drinks during the day made in the kitchen next door and passed through a hatch into our playroom. In effect the cups remain sitting on the worktop in the kitchen......far enough away from the children in any case. We stand at the hatch to drink them but if I'm honest by the time we get to them they are usually lukewarm.

At least three Ofsted inspectors have seen this in the past and have made no comment. They've even had one themselves!

Marion, using insulated, non-spill cups is a great idea. :o
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#11 Marion

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 07:54 AM

We have hot drinks during the day made in the kitchen next door and passed through a hatch into our playroom. In effect the cups remain sitting on the worktop in the kitchen......far enough away from the children in any case. We stand at the hatch to drink them but if I'm honest by the time we get to them they are usually lukewarm.

At least three Ofsted inspectors have seen this in the past and have made no comment. They've even had one themselves!

Marion, using insulated, non-spill cups is a great idea. :o


They aren't used very often as we usually drink water with the children but sometimes after a long session outdoors on a particularly cold day a nice hot drink is really needed.
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#12 sunnyday

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:08 AM

We have two hot drinks during the morning - the first is prepared and carried into our room before children arrive - usually consumed before they arrive too! The second is taken when they are all seated for snack/story.........

We have always made Inspectors, Early Years advisers etc. tea or coffee at these times - no comment has been made........hope I'm not tempting fate now :o
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#13 HoneyPancakes

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:25 AM

Your local authority may have it's own ideas on this subject. Ours have said 'no hot drinks where children are present'.
But, do you really need your tea and coffee scolding hot? Have you considered adding a bit more milk or cold water to bring down the temp and then you can still get your 'hit'. If you're really worried about you could add a thermometer to the kitchen equipment.

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#14 Beauvink

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:34 AM

oh wow this country makes me laugh.

Sorry i am an ex- health and safety officer, as well as childcare provider. I provided non-spill insulated cups for staff. This showed that adults also have basic needs as well as the children. although the cup was quite safe, we taught the children that what the cup contained may be hot and to be careful - but with any drink!

When you go to kindergartens in sweeden and denmark, the rooms reflect a home setting one of which is a kitchen area that serves hot food and drinks - and they learn the boundaries and how to use those areas safely and effectively.

The Steiner schools over here do the same - normal fantastic wonderful!

#15 Marion

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:51 AM

oh wow this country makes me laugh.

Sorry i am an ex- health and safety officer, as well as childcare provider. I provided non-spill insulated cups for staff. This showed that adults also have basic needs as well as the children. although the cup was quite safe, we taught the children that what the cup contained may be hot and to be careful - but with any drink!

When you go to kindergartens in sweeden and denmark, the rooms reflect a home setting one of which is a kitchen area that serves hot food and drinks - and they learn the boundaries and how to use those areas safely and effectively.

The Steiner schools over here do the same - normal fantastic wonderful!


I agree children need to be taught about risks/dangers rather than being kept in "risk free" environments that fail to teach them about the hazards they will encounter in the real world. The present culture of removing all possible risks (claiming H&S) puts more children at danger of harm simply through lack of knowledge/experience /awareness.
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#16 Cait

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:54 AM

We have two hot drinks during the morning - the first is prepared and carried into our room before children arrive - usually consumed before they arrive too! The second is taken when they are all seated for snack/story.........

We have always made Inspectors, Early Years advisers etc. tea or coffee at these times - no comment has been made........hope I'm not tempting fate now :o



That's the one I meant by the first one of the day - generally lukewarm by the time we get it off the windowledge! It started initially as one we drank before anyone arrived - but they seem to be getting earlier and earlier! For a 9 o'clock start, many of ours seem to 'land' at 25 to! Effectively getting almost half an hour free! Anyone else have this? I know it's because they take another child to school afterwards, but hey!

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#17 sunnyday

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 09:25 AM

That's the one I meant by the first one of the day - generally lukewarm by the time we get it off the windowledge! It started initially as one we drank before anyone arrived - but they seem to be getting earlier and earlier! For a 9 o'clock start, many of ours seem to 'land' at 25 to! Effectively getting almost half an hour free! Anyone else have this? I know it's because they take another child to school afterwards, but hey!


Oh Cait - we are getting a little off topic here - but I couldn't let this 'slip by' without comment..........I simply do not allow this - we open at 9 and that is that - some parents do arrive before that - but they have to wait...........we open the door at 9 - no earlier!
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#18 Kariana

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 09:45 AM

Oh Cait - we are getting a little off topic here - but I couldn't let this 'slip by' without comment..........I simply do not allow this - we open at 9 and that is that - some parents do arrive before that - but they have to wait...........we open the door at 9 - no earlier!


I'd say exactly the same thing, they certainly seem to be taking advantage there Cait! Since most schools start at 10 to 9 surely they should be taking the other child first and dropping off the pre-schooler afterwards?

#19 redjayne

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 09:56 AM

We have a small kitchen fenced off within our playroom - staff are able to make drinks in there and drink them in there also, still in sight of the children -but the children all know this is an 'adult only 'area, although still in the room . If they make drinks to take to staffroom at lunchbreak then they are carried out of room in a large ice-cream container and children advised to stay at a distance. :o

#20 shirel

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 11:10 AM

Great! I wish I didnt ask....I have been through 3 Ofsted inspections all of them have been with hot drinks in the room but with safety measures taken...never been commented on at all.....now I have to rethink just in case I get the Ofsted inspector this time that doesnt agree with it....as to it being something that hasnt been done for ages ....I am a bit sad that we have such a regime to work with....we need tea!

I think I will trial it next week but I am sure my staff will think I have gone bonkers....the only danger is carrying them into the room (which is done in a safe deep tray) as they are always put up high, we sip over a counter waist high? I might ask the parents what they think too!

I will be soooo unpopular on Monday!


Thanks as always for your replies.....
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#21 Marion

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:13 PM

Great! I wish I didnt ask....I have been through 3 Ofsted inspections all of them have been with hot drinks in the room but with safety measures taken...never been commented on at all.....now I have to rethink just in case I get the Ofsted inspector this time that doesnt agree with it....as to it being something that hasnt been done for ages ....I am a bit sad that we have such a regime to work with....we need tea!

I think I will trial it next week but I am sure my staff will think I have gone bonkers....the only danger is carrying them into the room (which is done in a safe deep tray) as they are always put up high, we sip over a counter waist high? I might ask the parents what they think too!

I will be soooo unpopular on Monday!


Thanks as always for your replies.....



I'm almost sure there is nothing in EYFS (or any other document) that says staff can't have a hot drink. I'm sure you are very careful and sensible about drinks around children anyway. Perhaps a risk assessment for transporting drinks if you feel you need to but I wouldn't stop.
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#22 Cait

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:26 PM

I'd say exactly the same thing, they certainly seem to be taking advantage there Cait! Since most schools start at 10 to 9 surely they should be taking the other child first and dropping off the pre-schooler afterwards?


The school in the next village opens their doors at 9 on the dot. Parents of children in the infants are expected to go in and read with their child for about 15 minutes every day. I'm not sure how working parents of children cope with this at all!


We did suggest the later drop off, but the school seemed to frown on the Preschoolers being in the classroom during what's meant to be a calm time. Plus with the bridges being out it simply wasn't feasible or sensible for people to tackle the early morning pandemonium on the one road in and out twice.

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#23 sunnyday

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:36 PM

The school in the next village opens their doors at 9 on the dot. Parents of children in the infants are expected to go in and read with their child for about 15 minutes every day. I'm not sure how working parents of children cope with this at all!


We did suggest the later drop off, but the school seemed to frown on the Preschoolers being in the classroom during what's meant to be a calm time. Plus with the bridges being out it simply wasn't feasible or sensible for people to tackle the early morning pandemonium on the one road in and out twice.


Ah right ...... would you not consider a session start time of 8:30 (and charge for it) for those that need to be in earlier? :o
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#24 Chill

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:41 PM

There now seem to be two threads here - both interesting.

1) Cait - You have been caught in a situation which is forcing you to give almost half an hour of free time to every parent. This must cut into your time with staff for those valuable chats. As you do not feel you can stick to a nine o clock start time why do you not introduce flexible opening times and parents would pay for an eight thirty drop off time. Fairer to you and to staff.

2) Def. no hot drinks in a pre school room. Even if they are carried in a deep tray a child could run into a staff member causing a trip. Only drinks in containers e.g. thermos cups with a lid. This was part of our inspection.
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#25 Cait

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:41 PM

Ah right ...... would you not consider a session start time of 8:30 (and charge for it) for those that need to be in earlier? :o



Well I could do - but that would mean I'd HAVE to be there, this way it's more of a 'No I'm not late' if they arrive before me (Never happens, I'm there at 8.15 at the latest, but you never know, do you!) The kindly Mum who lives next door volunteers to be in with me if need be. The rest of the staff have children of their own to get to school and don't get in to us until about 8.50.

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#26 louby loo

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:44 PM

Ah right ...... would you not consider a session start time of 8:30 (and charge for it) for those that need to be in earlier? :(


Yes, I'd agree with this. Also isn't it a case of the children being fully insured in your 'open hours' - well that's what I always tell parents when they want to drop off early :o :lol: :( maybe that's just an urban myth!


We have drinks 'through a hatch' so lucky in that respect. xx

#27 nona

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 12:49 PM

We bought those non spill insulated cups to use.


The CC make us use these at the Childminder drop-in sessions. Our "issue" with them is that they keep the drinks hotter for longer and still spill if knocked, making the risk greater!

At home with the minded children, if I make a hot drink, I warn them as I'm coming back into the room "careful now, I've got a hot drink!" Ofsted have always been fine with that, as have Network co-ordinators, visiting pre-school SEN staff and parents.

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#28 HappyMaz

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 01:05 PM

We bought those non spill insulated cups to use.

So did I Marion - and they either got lost, left at home or were just not used.

With only two practitioners at each session most of the time we have taken to drinking milk or water with the children at snacktime, and unless there is grumbling going on behind my back, it hasn't caused a major problem. I do enjoy my first cuppa of the day with my lunch though, I have to say!

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#29 cupcake

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 02:10 PM

This is a really interesting topic. At our setting we dont have hot drinks around the children. When I started in 2007 they did have hot drinks, safety issues aside, I found that staff were literally drinking tea all day, which included a member of staff to make it, wash cups etc, so I stopped all hot drinks.

This week the CC staff visited us and asked if staff had hot drinks around the children, I said no, she then asked if they have hot drinks in safety cups, again I said no, I then asked why she was asking and she said that a child in a CC was badly scalded after getting the lid off of a safety cup and now they didnt allow hot drinks around the children during parent workshops etc.

All the staff are fine about the no tea/hot drinks rule now, although initially they were a bit put out, however you wouldnt expect to see any other business who deals with the public ie supermarkets, doctors etc to be drinking tea during practicing hours.
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#30 cybertwin

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 02:18 PM

i agree 2 very interesting subjects

1. tea and coffee - we have hot drinks but in the kitchen the slurp and go method, although some staff members take longer than others! never in the room, children never in the kitchen, hatch or windows means we can see every area and help if needed. ofsted saw this and said ok 3 years ago. i work on the stage in the hall, my moveable office!! and dont even take a drink there with me unless before opening, or while children are in a different space as wont walk with a cup anywhere, i tend to nearly fall over children when just carrying a pen ! they change direction far too quickly

2. we recently had to revise our insurance hours as we extended our hours, so if you are letting children in early check your insurance. we open at 9 and dont let them in before but i can see your awkward siutation,

good luck




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