Early Childhood Education and Care: Safety Basics

Understand and control the risks in early childhood education and care settings.


On this page:

  • Common Hazards and risks in early childhood education and care
  • Health and safety in early childhood education and care
  • Risk management process


Early childhood education and care

Most early childhood education and care services are regulated to ensure children are protected from harm and that their opportunities for learning and development are maximized.

Common hazards and risks in early childhood education and care

  • lifting, carrying and moving children and objects
  • working at low levels (on floor or children's furniture)
  • slips, trips and falls, for example on the floor or children's furniture
  • standing on chairs and tables to put up artwork
  • communicable diseases
  • work-related stress
  • bullying and harrassment

More about hazards and risk

Lifting and moving

In early childhood education and care settings, injuries can often come from tasks like lifting children, moving  heavy objects, and a lot of bending, twisting or reaching. Examples include: lifting children on and off change tables, and bending or squatting to their height.

Tasks like these may involve hazardous manual handling, which can lead to musculoskeletal disorders like sprains and strained to the back and shoulders.


Involving your employees in health and safety issues can result in a safer workplace. That's why consultation is an important part of risk management.

Early Childhood Safety Alerts

Risk management process

1   Find the hazards in your workplace

2   Assess the risks associated with those hazards. You don't have to do a formal risk assessment if there is already information about the risk and how to control it.

3   Control the risks.

4   Monitor and review your risk controls. Revise the controls if they are not working.