Legislation Impact on Early Years Practice


  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (Great Britain)

Outlines the responsibility of individual employees for maintaining health and safety in the workplace

  • Childcare Act 2006

Focuses on improving outcomes for children in the early years through the ‘five outcomes’ of Every Child Matters (including ‘being healthy’ and ‘staying safe’)

Introduced the Early Years Foundation Stage in 2008 (including the welfare requirements for promoting health and safeguarding children)

  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (revised 2004)

Provides guidance for lifting and carrying children, including correct techniques and procedures for risk assessment

  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2004 (COSHH)

Protects children from dangerous chemicals (including cleaning substances and medicines), including regulations about storage and usage.

  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)

Outlines the procedures for reporting Accidents, Injuries and Infectious diseases such as TB and Meningitis to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA)

  • The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006

Provides guidance on the preparation, storage, and cooking of food and the requirements for staff training in food hygiene. 

  • Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 (England)

The safeguarding and welfare requirements outline the legal responsibilities for providers in promoting children’s health, safety and wellbeing (ages 0–5 years).