Out to Play - creating outdoor play experiences for children: practical guidance

Guidance and advice for early learning and childcare settings and practitioners on how to access outdoor spaces to create safe, nurturing and inspiring outdoor learning experiences.

Appendix 6

General safety considerations need good preparation and practice:

  • Develop an ethos of mutual trust, respect and responsibility – including effective communication, looking out for each other and caring for oneself.
  • Ensure children know the working boundaries. On large sites, this may involve closing some areas at certain times to ensure effective supervision.
  • Ensure children understand and can gather when asked. If a child is unable to comply, create a system for ensuring the child's whereabouts and note it in their personal plan.
  • All staff must know how many are in the group and take regular headcounts. Include adults in the headcount and know their whereabouts.
  • Ensure children know what to do if they realise they are lost or no longer with their group. This requires careful teaching in line with the children's developmental understanding.
  • Deploy adults. Make sure there's an adult on general site duty who is not preoccupied by a group activity who can informally do frequent headcounts while keeping an eye on specific children who may need this.
  • Use tight protocols for collecting and dropping off children. Include a system ensuring the parents/carers' signatures are permanently recorded.
  • You may want to consider whether providing a t shirt or another top of some sort for all children would be helpful for visibility depending on your environment.
  • If you are walking children along roads, you will need to consider the Highway Code advice for groups walking near or on road and decide whether you need to provide high visibility jackets.
  • All early learning and childcare providers must have missing child procedures in place and practise implementation.
  • All early learning and childcare providers must have a robust safeguarding policy appropriate to the individual setting and children's personal plans will reflect any specific needs or risks.




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