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Providing For Under 3's - Safety Concerns


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Hi. We run two separate sessions at my nursery. The older children are pre-school, aged between 3 and 4. The younger children start at 2 and a half and turn 3 when they are with us.

We have truly begun to embrace the new EYFS for this September, particularly in terms of our provision. We have purchased lots of storage units and have made almost all our resources self-selection. This has posed a problem for us, however, with regards to safety.

Many toys and equipment come with a 3+ rating on them, which we used to incorporate into either the older or younger session, depending on whether or not it was deemed 'safe'. However, now we have many of our toys freely available and we do not want to have nor can provide space/storage for separate units for separate groups. We wanted to make both groups more cohesive but in giving the children more free access, I am concerned that we may be putting out items/toys that are not safe for under 3's.

How do people manage this in their settings? Daycare in particular often have a 'rolling' programme of entry that perhaps isnt as rigid as ours, and of course, some settings cater for a wider age range of children in just one room. Is it purely down to supervision? That doesnt seem enough when a staff member could be tied up and a child under 3 accesses something not meant for them.

I don't believe I am being 'anal' about safety here. It's not about never letting them access anything that is definitely not stamped with the appropriate label. I'm just unsure as to what is 'right', for the child but also for our provision, when it is so easy nowadays to be 'sued'.

HELP! :)

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Risk assess each toy to what age group and if you have a toy which you think is dangerous for the younger children then make sure it is supervised. I mix both age groups in one session and we don't look at the age group on the box. go with your own risk assessment.

 

steph

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we dont take too much notice of the age rating either - as children dont automatically stop putting things in their mouths etc at age 3.

we assess all our toys /activities and ensure the things are suitable for all the children - the things that are for the older (although they are not that much older tbh) are generally used during adult led or small group activites -where there is an adult present -with the older children.

our children range from 2:9 - school age.

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I look after a little boy who has been building with lego since he was 20mths. He has amazing fine motor skills and had I not provided this age innappropriate resource for him I would not have been providing him with any challenge at all.

On the other hand I have a little girl who is 23mths who does the most unexpected things with resources and NOTHING is safe :o

Many of the children we look after have older siblings and are often exposed to and enjoy using a range of toys at home. I'm often surprised when I visit baby rooms to discover they are full of plastic age appropriate toys and some treasure baskets and natural resources but rarely the things that the under 2's love to play with in my home such as the home corner, dolls house, small world figures and animals which probabably are not aimed/advertised/recommended for this age group

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Hi, we run in a village hall and take children aged 2years up to reception age. We now divide the room into two age groups 2-3yrs then 3-5yrs. Some of the equipment is used for both ages but we have special toys that are only for the older children as at our last ofsted inspection we were pulled up for not having enough challenging equipment for the older ones and this may have been due to us not using enough equipment with small pieces due to the 2 year olds having access to the same equipment.

 

So as the others have said, use your risk assessment with the equipment but maybe have some special things saved for the older group that will be more challenging and that may have posed a risk for a 2 year old to access. HTH Also like dcn wrote about the children she looks after you do have to go with the child and their development so be willing to be flexible!

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