Food and drink
Where children are provided with meals, snacks and drinks, they must be healthy, balanced and nutritious. Before a child is admitted to the setting the provider must also obtain information about any special dietary requirements, preferences and food allergies that the child has, and any special health requirements. Fresh drinking water must be available and accessible at all times. Providers must record and act on information from parents and carers about a child's dietary needs.
Allergen labelling laws changed on 13th December 2014. 14 major allergens must be identified to parents if they are provided in the food you offer to children. For more information and guidance, as well as free online allergen training, please visit the FSA's website.
As a provider, if you choose to provide food (which includes preparing food such as sandwiches, fruit and snacks), then you will need to register as a Food Premises with LBWF. From 1 April 2014 the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Ofsted agreed new arrangements for the sharing of information about registered childminders. This means that childminders no longer have to register separately as a food business operator with their local authority: further information is on the FSA website. In addition, the FSA has produced a "Safer food, better business" (SFBB) pack especially for childminders. For providers that have to register, registration is free and includes a visit from a member of the Food Safety team to ensure your premises meet the requirements issued by the FSA.
Basic food hygiene training
If you prepare food in your childcare setting it is important that you have a food hygiene qualification. PACEY offer a Level 2 food hygiene course that has been tailored to suit a home-based childcare setting.
Registered providers must notify Ofsted of any food poisoning affecting two or more children looked after on the premises. Notification must be made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but in any event within 14 days of the incident. A registered provider, who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with this requirement, commits an offence.