10 April 2024

Creating a Safe and Healthy Work Environment in Childcare

A safe and healthy work environment is of the utmost importance in childcare. This includes both physical and social safety. In order to be able to properly care for children and do their job well, pedagogical staff must feel comfortable and safe. Here’s how you can create an environment where staff can work with pleasure and confidence, allowing children to flourish.


Strict safety protocols

Safety begins with well-thought-out protocols tailored to the needs of childcare (employees and children). Think of emergency procedures, fire safety, and supervision rules. Childcare workers should be trained in first aid, and there should be enough staff to ensure constant supervision, with physical safety as the highest priority.

There are certain laws and regulations that every childcare location must comply with to guarantee safety. Think of the staff-to-child ratio.


Hygiene and health

A clean environment is essential not only for physical health but also for social safety. A thorough cleaning protocol is therefore crucial for every childcare location. Additionally, regularly clean toys and encourage hand washing to minimize the spread of germs.

Also, monitor the physical and mental health of childcare workers. Establish policies for sick leave. Provide a supportive environment where employees feel free to share their concerns. Be available as a manager, and ensure that a company doctor and counselor are easily accessible to employees.


Ergonomic work

Lifting, bending, squatting, sitting, standing. Childcare workers do it all day long. It’s a physical job, so physical safety is crucial. As an employer, you need to provide for that. This can be done, for example, with ergonomic stools, chairs, and care furniture.

Additionally, prevent accidents for childcare workers, not just children. This can be done, for example, with finger protection on doors, corner, pillar and wall protection, window safety, and radiator covers.


Social safety

In addition to physical safety, social safety is also very important to be able to do your job well. Feeling unsafe in this area can lead to employees taking sick leave or getting burned out.

The main thing is that there is an environment in which employees feel valued and respected, by their employer and each other. You can achieve this by:

  • Expressing in words that you value and respect the pedagogical staff.
  • Implementing a clear policy against bullying in the workplace. Bullying at school or online is common among children, but adults are also regularly bullied in the workplace. 1 in 10 employees experience this, which is a major risk for burnout complaints and absenteeism.
  • Promoting a reporting culture by clearly indicating where pedagogical staff can go if they experience, for example, inappropriate and sexually transgressive behavior in the workplace.
  • Stimulating the team spirit among pedagogical staff. You can do this, for example, by working on team development, creating space for social contact in addition to meetings and organizing a regular team outing.


Communication and feedback

An open communication culture is incredibly important for maintaining the atmosphere and feeling of safety in the workplace. Therefore, encourage employees to give each other constructive feedback. If necessary, you can offer training for this. Additionally, ensure effective communication channels to address concerns and conflicts promptly.


Ensuring safety with Arte Viva products

By paying attention to both physical and social safety, childcare organizations can create an environment where both children and employees feel good and can develop. Strict safety protocols, attention to hygiene and health, ergonomic work, promoting social safety, and communication and feedback together form the building blocks for this. The result is a safe haven where childcare workers feel physically and mentally secure, and consequently, so do the children.

With Arte Viva products, you can ensure the physical safety of childcare workers and children. Check out our product overview or contact us for more information.