As an owner/operator of a licensed Early Childhood facility, ensuring the safety of your outdoor play area is a critical responsibility. The New Zealand standard NZS5828 requires an inspection process to identify and mitigate hazards, and in the event of a serious injury, the burden of compliance proof falls on the owner. This includes daily/weekly checks by in-house staff and a comprehensive annual audit by a certified Level 3 inspector.
During an Education Review Office (ERO) visit, advisors may flag questionable elements within the outdoor play area that require further inspection. If concerns are identified, they usually refer to a comprehensive audit service provided by accredited experts in NZS5828/EN1176 Playground Equipment and Surfacing standards. However, a more proactive approach is to engage an independent annual inspection and risk reduction process before the ERO visit.
At Playsafe, we offer a comprehensive inspection service verified against the review criteria NZS5828:2015 Playground Equipment and Surfacing, along with the requirements of Appendix A - Early Childhood Education Services. Our audits also consider the Ministry of Education Premises and facilities criterion 5 - PF5 Safe Furniture and Equipment, where items and surfaces, furniture, equipment, and materials are assessed for safety and suitability for their intended use.
Remember, the safety of the outdoor play area is critical to the well-being and development of children in your care. By ensuring regular inspections and audits, you can create a safe and enjoyable environment that fosters learning and play.