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Hi i manage a small committee run preschool we are based in the country and i would like to buy a Hamster or some gold fish for the group. Does anybody else have pets in their setting if so how do the children react is there any health and safety issues apart from obviously getting the children to wash their hands after playing with the pet and also making sure there is an adult with the children when they are stroking the pet.Any views or experience on this matter would be much appreciated thanks

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You may like to look at this previous discussion, animal policy

 

Suggest as Peggy says research the pet well, care needed etc, I have had hamsters with children at home and as well as being nocturnal found no matter how much they were handled still bit!!

 

Son (grown up and away from home but loving pets) now has guinea pig , bigger, out and about during the day, and does not bite (well everyone except me seems to like to nibble me! never breaks the skin but I do know about it!!)

 

Inge

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In one nursery i worked at we had a hamster, we had to get consent of all parents prior to purchasing the hamster, and if they did not want their child to hold it they had to write that down. health and safety, as you say focused around washing hands, not poking in hamsters cage etc..and location of hanster in relation to room, ie not near food prep areas etc... obvious really.... to be honest the children found him boring as there nocturnal so thus shouldbe asleep in the day... which ours always was so not much fun really! :o

 

In my nursery now we have three fish, nice and simple... children help to clean them out (children weat gloves and aprons) we talk about the fish etc, what they eat, why we clean them... children enjoy this, and they really enjoy feeding them and watching them too.

 

Dawn

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we have had sea monkeys in the summer only as they need the heat & the hall freezes at night! Garden snails brought in by a child stayed with us for ages. Took my sons rabbit in for easter, i've also taken in my chinchillas and our african land snail (called Brian from the magic roundabout!), all good fun!!

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Hi, we've got a couple of goldfish which the children like but i'm sure sometimes forget they are there. Also have rabbits in the garden which are great fun. Children help to clean out the hutch, get fresh water etc, also take them for walks around the garden on a harness. They have learned lots about how to care for animals, how to handle them etc. They are always supervised with the rabbits for the safety of the rabbits as well as the children. :)

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We have a pair of giant African Land Snails called George and Betty and we did have a pair of guinea pigs called flash and Gordon but they came home with me to retire

 

Hi Crystalsecrets and welcome to the forum :D

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Guest HelenW

I am a childminder so its a bit different for me as I live in my setting. I have a lot of pets including tortoises, cats, rabbits and a guinea pig and the children love them all, many of them do not have pets at home. I have always handled my animals a lot so they are use to being touched and do not bite or scratch the children. I involve the children in care, but maintain really good hygeine standards, they only add clean bedding and food, and know they have to wash their hands after touching the pets. Pets are hard work though, and you will need to make sure you know how to care for them well and plan for closure periods and vet fees. At the moment we also have tadpoles and will be doing caterpillars to butterflies next.

Edited by HelenW
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  • 3 months later...

found this... Animal health and welfare

 

may be worth refering to if having pets in a setting as From 6 April 2007 in England, and in Wales from 27 March, animal welfare law was improved. It makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met.

 

Inge

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Thanks for the info Inge. We were recently given a budgerigar as a leaving present by a child who is moving on to 'big' school. He is called 'Bertie the blue budgerigar'. I personally feel quite sorry for him and think that budgerigars should remain in their natural habitat and not in a cage.

Any budgie experts out there, should he have a mate, female or male for company???

The children have enjoyed his presence but the initial interest soon wears off. He goes to childrens homes for weekends but is with me durng the holidays.

 

Peggy

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Thanks for the info Inge. We were recently given a budgerigar as a leaving present by a child who is moving on to 'big' school. He is called 'Bertie the blue budgerigar'. I personally feel quite sorry for him and think that budgerigars should remain in their natural habitat and not in a cage.

Peggy

Lots of opportunities for discussion about this with children - wonder if they would like living in a cage? Strange concept really - we encourage the children so much to be free and yet we keep animals in cages. Hadn't really thought about it in this context before...

 

Maz

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