Minimizing Risk

The safety and well-being of children, staff, students and volunteers are of fundamental importance in all activities conducted by Owl. However, accidents can and do occur. Because there is an element of risk in all activities, appropriate procedures must be in place to assist Owl employees in minimizing risks and effectively managing the safety of every participant in every activity.

Risk arises naturally as a result of many ordinary activities over and above camping or boating. All activities - even those within the child care centre such as gross motor activities, crafts using scissors or solvents, and field trips or walks in local neighbourhoods - include elements of risk. Circumstances are important, too. For example, an activity that may be perfectly safe in a family setting may not be safe at Owl when one-to-one supervision can't be guaranteed. Good risk management practices can prevent most serious mishaps.

The procedures in Owl's Safety First! manual were developed with expertise and research to enable us to provide a challenging yet safe environment for all Owl activities. Safety First! provides a process to help our registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) to be consistent and systematic in their risk-related planning and to document what they have done in the event they are questioned about it at a later time. In addition to ensuring the safety of participants, evaluating and planning activities using Safety First! gives RECEs more peace of mind to enjoy the activity with the children.

The procedures in Safety First! are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of rules and procedures that are required to govern every Owl activity. It would be an impossibility to establish procedures for every activity provided at Owl. Therefore, staff need to use discretion in planning and implementing the wide variety of off-site activities they conduct, thereby demonstrating:

  • an awareness of inherent risks in the activity
  • a consistent systematic process in risk-related planning to address inherent risks
  • attention to documentation of actions that were taken to minimize risks

Step by Step Process

The following is the step-by-step process outlined in Safety First! 


A diagram outline Owl's seven steps of safety


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