Equipment Policy

This policy was adopted on 30 August 2022 and is reviewed annually

Policy statement

At Natural Nurture we organise the premises and equipment to meet the needs of all the children. We provide a wide range of high quality equipment and resources to support the delivery of our early years curriculum. We take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of children and ensure they are not exposed to risks. The policy seeks to ensure that all equipment and materials located and used at Natural Nurture Nursery comply with health and safety regulations and other legislative requirements.

To ensure this occurs within the nursery we provide:

  • Play equipment and resources which are safe and, where applicable, conform to the European Standards for Playground Equipment: EN 1176 and EN 1177, BS EN safety standards or Toys (Safety) Regulation (1995)
  • A sufficient quantity of equipment and resources for the number of children registered in the nursery
  • A wide range of books, equipment and resources which promote positive images of people of all races, cultures, ages, gender and abilities, are non-discriminatory and do not stereotype
  • Play equipment and resources which promote continuity and progression, provide sufficient challenges
  • Sufficient storage so resources and equipment can be displayed for children to independently choose and/or stored away safely and then rotated
  • Appropriate risk assessments and checks on all resources and equipment before first use to identify any potential risks and again regularly at the beginning and end of every session.

Cleaning and maintaining of all resources and equipment.

  • All equipment is cleaned on a regular basis to ensure that the spread of infection is minimised.
  • We repair or replace any unsafe, worn out, dirty or damaged equipment whenever required
  • An electronic inventory of resources and equipment.
  • Role models and discussions to ensure that all children respect the equipment and resources and encourage them to put them back where they belong after use.

Natural Materials

A lot of the equipment for play at the nursery will be natural materials e.g. trees for climbing and swinging, branches for den building, leaves and moss for small world play.
  • Staff members will do a safety sweep of a particular outdoor area before taking children out to play and will designate safe boundaries.
  • Safety concerns will be discussed with children and they will be encouraged to observe and report their own concerns and suggest ways to stay safe whilst using natural resources e.g. suggesting how to avoid splinters or spotting a wobbling log.
  • If a staff member spots a serious safety concern in an area, the children will be relocated to another place in the setting until the area is made safe again.

Using Tools

From time to time children have the opportunity to use small tools such as chisels and hammers in woodworking, or knives for whittling or the preparation of food.
  • These sessions will be run by a staff member to instruct young children in these skills, and with their safety as a priority.
  • Children will be allowed to use these tools in very small groups, with a high adult to child ratio.
  • One to one support will be put in place for children with special needs to enable them to participate fully.
  • These tools will never be accessible to children to select and use on their own in independent play.

Storage of Equipment

  • All equipment and materials in the setting are stored so as to reduce the risk to the health and safety of all. Equipment and materials, which are considered to be high risk (such as the above), are controlled by staff, and children will not have open access to these resources. Access to these resources will be dependent upon a risk assessment, and they will not be used without a member of staff being present.