Child care HSE Checklist


The author once conducted an HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) audit at a day care facility run by an expat, using this checklist. That’s why it’s in English.

You may use this checklist to check the day care facility that you send your child to, and/or to check your house of relevant points. See also Annex A.

A.   Management

  1. The facility has a valid business permit as required by law.
  2. The facility does not have any outstanding business or HSE issue as detected or recommended by authorities’ inspection.
  3. Dedicated, friendly caregivers are trained in child care or a related field.
  4. Security guards are vigilant, e.g. when a child runs out to the street without guardians’ company, or when a suspicious-looking person enters the premise.
  5. Criminal background checks are conducted to ensure trustworthy staff and passionate teachers provide the best care and education for children.
  6. The facility has child care policy and procedures, and forms for use in connection with the procedure. Examples of forms:
  • Contract
  • Admission application, with parent’s or guardian’s names and phone number, address, and child’s particulars like medical history, dietary preference, etc.
  • Child pick up form
  • Permission to administer medicine

B.   Health

  1. All staff members have a valid health certificate.
  2. The facility has a policy in writing that any staff who develops coughs, running nose or fever is required to stay home.
  3. Children are encouraged to wash their hands throughout the day by singing songs and teaching lessons about health and hygiene.
  4. Cleaning supplies and detergents are locked safely out of reach of children.
  5. The facility has a well-stocked first-aid bag/box that is easy for any staff to reach but is out of reach of children.
  6. All perishable food is refrigerated at temperature around 8 ºC.
  7. Bottled drinking water is provided by a reliable supplier, with standard specifications indicated on the bottle label.
  8. Play grounds are maintain dry.
  9. There is no water pool on the compound and no open water container, to prevent dengue fever.
  10. At least one staff in each shift has a valid first-aid and CPR training certificate.
  11. Poisonous trees are avoided if possible, or screened, and poisonous plants are kept out of children’s reach. See also Annex B.
  12. The facility has a procedure to prevent wild mammals from entering the ground as they may transmit rabies.
  13. Child’s health is assessed by talking with parents and monitored for symptoms during the course of the child’s stay; assessment during flu season is increased.
  14. The facility has a procedure to notify the parents or a guardian when a child does not feel well.
  15. No asbestos is used on the compound.
  16. Food cans, packs, boxes… are from reliable providers with expiry dates clearly shown, and are discarded after the expiry date.
  17. Vegetables are from reliable providers ensuring there are no harmful pesticide residuals.
  18. The facility has a policy to clean the facilities each day.
  19. Non-toxic cleaning products are used for cleaning the facilities.
  20. The facility has a policy to clean toys each day with safe, non-toxic cleaning products.
  21. The facility has a policy to welcome breastfeeding mothers.
  22. Diapering is conducted in an area separate from children’s play areas.
  23. A doctor’s note is required for any medicine, either prescription or over the counter, given to a child under 2 years.
  24. The facility has a policy to require the child’s parent or guardian to sign a permission to administer medicine if the child needs medicine from home.
  25. Emergency phone numbers are posted where everyone can see clearly, and are updated whenever necessary: Nearest hospital and emergency evacuation, Nearest fire brigade, Local Ward police.
  26. Training for disasters and lockdown situations is serious.
  27. An emergency evacuation plan is maintained.
  28. Staff are regularly trained and tested for emergency procedures.
  29. Medicines are stored securely out of the reach of children.
  30. Ice compartment and freeze-refrigerator are out of reach of children.
  31. Rainwater is drained quickly after each rain.
  32. Poisonous insects are controlled: bees, fire ants, centipedes…
  33. Poisonous trees are avoided if possible, or screened, and poisonous plants are kept out of children’s reach. Plants having sticky sap should be suspected as poisonous.
  34. Insect spray cans and insect-repellant cream are not used. Safer means, such insect lamps, are used.
  35. Tree foliage is not maintained too dense, but is trimmed to allow a part of sunlight penetrates to the ground.

C.   Safety

  1. The playground has no sharp edges and or anything that may cause slip or fall.
  2. Window guardsWindow guards on all windows except designated fire exits.
  3. Bookcases are securely attached to the walls.
  4. Hot water at faucets is maintained at max. 50 ºC.
  5. Fire alarms are installed and maintained in good working order – regular testing is carried out.
  6. Fire extinguishers are maintained with adequate number (advisable 2), in adequate pressure and their locations are clearly indicated.


  7. All electrical outlets that can be accessed by children are covered with protective caps.
  8. Safety stair gate 2Security gates at top and bottom of stairs.
  9. Matches, oil burners, incense and lighters are kept out of reach of young children.
  10. Safe fall zones with soft landing areas where children may take a tumble.
  11. All outside play areas are wrapped in secure fencing.
  12. All glass doors are made of safety glass, or laminated, or made with safety film.
  13. All glass doors are marked with stickers at adult and child’s eye level.
  14. Maintain MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) of hazardous substances used, e.g. pesticides for trees.
  15. The facility is protected from lightning.
  16. Radiators and heaters, if any, are covered to prevent children from touching something hot.
  17. Furniture has cushioned corner guards where required.

    Table corner cushions

  18. Facility is secured so that only authorized staff and families may enter.
  19. Security guards are vigilant, e.g. when a child runs out to the street without guardians’ company, or when a suspicious-looking person enters the premise.
  20. Perimeters are secured to ensure that children can enjoy outdoor play safely.
  21. The facility has a policy that only pre-approved persons with photo identification may pick-up children. Other persons may pick-up children only if a parent or a guardian permits (with prior agreement) by a phone call and with a valid identification document.
  22. Stove knob coverAll doors should open outward.
  23. The stove has knob covers if necessary.
  24. The facility has a procedure of gas cylinder management, e.g.:
  • Gas cylinders from a reliable supplier are used, and there is contractual obligation that all gas cylinders are checked for safety by an accepted authority.
  • Gas cylinders are kept upright. Cylinders containing flammable gases are never laid on their sides.
  • A cylinder is never transported with a regulator attached, and its valve is always protected during transport by replacing the valve cover.
  • Large cylinders are moved with a hand truck, never by rolling or “walking” them.
  • A cylinder is not drained completely. Air can be sucked back through the valve, contaminating the cylinder or creating an explosive mixture.
  • When in doubt of cylinder leaks, soap solution is used to check.
  • Old and new cylinders are stored in a separate, well-ventilated area away from ignition sources, electrical lines, flammable materials, and direct sunlight.

D.   Environment

  1. CFC-containing equipment is not used, e.g. refrigerators, air-conditioners, fire extinguishers.
  2. Materials are reused and recycled to the extent possible.
  3. The use of plastics is limited to the extent possible.
  4. Septic tanks are desludged each year.
  5. Hazardous wastes (e.g., discarded fluorescent tubes, batteries, electronic component…) are stored separately, and collected by or are sent to authorized service.

E.   Transportation provided by the facility (if any)

  1. Specially designed buses and vans include 3-point safety restraints.
  2. Infant and toddler car seats are safe and reliable.
  3. Drivers undergo stringent testing and are trained in defensive driving skills.
  4. Each vehicle has an assistant to help children in getting up and going down the vehicle.

Annex A: HSE check points

House HSE check 2


Annex B: Common toxic plants

Poisonous plants

Diệp Minh Tâm


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