A baby room in a day care centre needs to meet the requirements of the statutory framework in order to ensure the business remains compliant. The statutory framework for the early years foundation stage sets the standards for learning development and care for children from birth to five. It specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare. Anyone setting up a baby room or any form of daycare in the UK must adhere to this framework.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Knowledge of statutory framework
- Room of adequate size
- Sleeping facilities in quiet area of room
- Hygienic changing facilities
- Safe, fit for purpose toys and furniture
- Qualified and experienced staff
Measure the room you are planning to use. For children under two there must be a space allocation of 3.5 square metres per child. The size of the room will therefore determine the number of babies for which you can care. The room must have a quiet area so babies can can sleep. Adequate, hygienic, changing facilities with access to clean bedding, towels and clothes are mandatory requirements. Ideally there should also be access to some outside space.
Equip the room with appropriate furniture and toys. It is the provider's responsibility to ensure these are safe, fit for purpose and checked regularly. Toys need to be age appropriate and there needs to be sufficient to encourage the learning and development of all the babies in the room. For young babies cots will be required for sleeping. There must be facilities for storing milk and baby foods safely, and space and appropriate furniture for feeding babies either with milk or solids.
Allocate existing staff to the baby room or employ staff specifically to work with babies taking account of the adult to child ratio and the qualification requirements. The ratio of staff, who must all be over 17, to babies must be no less than one to three. One must hold a level 3 qualification and be experienced in working with babies and children under two. At least half of the others should have a level 2 qualification. It is also recommended that the room leader has a paediatric first aid and food hygiene certificate.
Tips and warnings
- Each baby should be allocated a key person on the staff to ensure consistency of care.
- Contact the local safeguarding board for advice on child protection issues.
- The framework is mandatory for all early years providers.
- Baby rooms are subject to Ofsted inspections and Ofsted can issue a notice to improve and/or a welfare requirements notice, so make sure the baby room is compliant with the framework.
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