Running a childcare business is hard work. You are operating within a sector that has tight regulations and it can feel like a full time job just keeping up with what you need to do, have and update in order to keep your ducks in a row and remain compliant. Our latest blog from the FSB Insurance Service team takes you through the basics so you have all the information you need when it comes to looking for your next insurance quoteSome of information the below will be basic knowledge if you’re running a childcare business, but it’s worth reminding yourself of the requirements and having evidence that you comply with them when requesting an insurance quote.
Arranging some form of Employer’s and Public Liability Insurance to cover your childcare business should be one of your highest priorities. Public Liability will cover your legal liability for any injury to a child or third party and can also cover injury or damage incurred to/on property belonging to a third party.
Employer’s Liability is a legal requirement if you employ one or more people. It provides cover for your legal liability should any employee be injured or ill as a result of working for your business. This is required even if you only have temporary or casual staff.
In order to prove that you are a good risk, childcare businesses are recommended to use enhanced DBS checks which will flag any potential employee’s criminal convictions. If your business is based in Northern Ireland or Scotland, you will have to go through a ‘Care Inspectorate’ as DBS checks are not available.
If all the children in your care are of reception age and above, you must ensure that your staff possess the correct qualifications.
- Each session must have a first aider with the 12 Hour Paediatric Care First Aid qualification who must also be trained in recognising signs of radicalisation, abuse and neglect
- All staff involved in food preparation must have had food handling training
- Designated child protection person (with Child Protection Level 1 Qualification)
- Designated SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) and ENCO (Equalities Named Coordinator)
If some children in your care haven’t yet reached reception age, you face additional requirements:
- Supervisor and setting manager must hold a Level 3 qualification
- Majority of the remaining staff must hold a full or relevant Level 2 qualification
Children in your Care
The minimum staffing ratios for each age group are as follows:
- Children under the age of 2 years old require one adult to every three children
- Children aged 2 require one adult to every four children
- Children aged 3 and up require one adult to every eight children
This is a legal requirement but you may still be asked to confirm this when requesting an insurance quote.
It’s suggested that you demonstrate to an insurer that you create risk profiles for the children in your care, especially if you deal with children who have special needs. This could be useful as it demonstrates that you have taken measures to mitigate the risks faced by children and if an incident occurs, may lessen the impact of a claim on your business.
A risk profile can be created to determine:
- Any additional needs a child may have
- How many carers they may require
- Health requirements
- Potential triggers for children with special needs
There are plenty of things you can do to make sure that your premises are up to the standard expected by insurers. Some basic safety tips you can do are;
Keep the environment clear of clutter: Toys, books and other items can become safety hazards and cause accidents. Try enforcing a culture of cleanliness and neatness among both staff and children in your care
Security (both during and out of hours): To make sure only authorised people enter the premises it may be worth installing a keypad/intercom lock on external doors, and potentially installing keypad locks on internal doors where you might want to restrict access (for example, the kitchen)
Locked/child locked cupboards: Especially if those cupboards have hazardous materials
Cameras: This may be helpful in case an incident occurs that may give rise to a claim
Repair and maintenance of electrics: Regular PAT tests are recommended to identify any wear and tear that could case risk of injury. Having an Electrical Safety Certificate can demonstrate to your insurer you can take care of your premises. To find out more, FSB Insurance Service have a blog related to electrics in your business which you can read by visiting their site.
These precautions will demonstrate to potential insurers that you are actively making sure that your premises are not a risk. The benefit of that is this could see a potential decrease in premiums or your risk might appeal to a wider panel of insurers.
This information was correct at the time of writing (February 2020).