Visits and Outings Procedures 

HSCS: 1.10, 1.32,  

At Willow Den we offer children a range of local outings including walks and visits off the premises. We believe that planned outings and visits complement and enhance the learning opportunities inside the nursery environment and extend children’s experiences.  

All staff should be familiar with the Care Inspectorate Practice Note: SIMOA 


Visits and outings are carefully planned using following procedures:

Local planned and spontaneous outings

As part of our daily nursery routines and children’s learning experiences children and staff will regularly visit local places including, but not limited to, the supermarket, the library, the park.

  • Permission for these outings is given at registration and renewed with parents 6-monthly
  • Risk Assessments for frequent visits are saved in the Outings Folder. A Senior Practitioner will review the RA and perform a dynamic risk assessment if needed e.g. unexpected road works or a diverted route.
  • An outings form should be filled in by hand and signed by a Senior Practitioner or Manager
  • We provide appropriate staffing levels for outings dependent on an assessment of the safety and individual needs of the children. There will be a minimum of 2 staff members if on a local (walking distance) outing.
  • The minimum adult to child ratio is 1:6. At least one member of staff will hold a valid paediatric first aid certificate.
  • A first aid kit will be taken on all outings, along with any medication required by individual children present.
  • A register of children including emergency contact numbers, allergy and medical information will be taken on all outings.
  • Regular named headcounts will be carried out and recorded. Timings of headcounts will be agreed with the nursery manager prior to the outing.
  • All staff will wear the nursery uniform and high visibility vests/jackets.
  • All children will be easily identified by wearing high visibility vests.
  • A group photo should be taken before leaving the nursery site to be used in case of a missing child or staff member.
  • At least two fully charged mobile phones, including the nursery phone, will be taken on all outings if all children are attending.
  • One full charged mobile phone with the necessary contact numbers saved will be taken if some children are remaining at nursery
  • The completed Outings Form should be stored in the Outings Folder and scanned and saved into the Shared Drive for archive monthly.

Visits outside of the local area

  • A full risk assessment and outings plan will be carried out by a Senior Practitioner before the outing. The venue should have been researched by a practitioner prior to the outing, to risk assess and ensure it is appropriate for the age, stage and development of the children. This might include online research, calling the venue, visiting the venue.
  • Written permission must be obtained from parents/carers before taking children on outings further afield.
  • There will be a minimum of 3 staff members if the outing is further afield. The minimum adult to child ratio is 1:6. At least one member of staff will hold a valid paediatric first aid certificate.
  • All other steps remain the same as a local visit
  • There may be opportunities for parents/carers to assist on outings. The Nursery Manager will distribute information prior to the outing regarding health and safety and expected codes of conduct.

Risk assessment/outings plan for visits outside the local area

The full risk assessment and outing plan. This plan will include details of:

  • The name of the designated person in charge and a designated second person in charge – the outing leaders
  • The name of the place where the visit will take place
  • The estimated time of departure and arrival
  • The equipment needed for the trip, i.e. first aid kit, mobile phone, coats, safety reigns, pushchairs, rucksack, packed lunch etc.
  • Willow Den contact numbers
  • Method of transportation and travel arrangements (including the route)
  • Financial arrangements
  • Emergency procedures
  • The name of the designated first aider and the first aid provision
  • Links to medium term or responsive plan need

Consent Form

A letter will be shared with parents with the details of the trip e.g. location, timings, equipment required.

For children with additional needs then an additional meeting will be held with parents to discuss their child’s needs for the outing and how these will be supported.

Signed consent will be required from all parents before their child can join the trip. Verbal consent with a follow up email will be accepted under certain circumstances e.g. last minute availability for an additional child. The Nursery Manager would make the final decision if the consent received is acceptable.

Use of vehicles for outings

The only private vehicle that should be used to transport children is a mini-bus.

When planning an outing using vehicles, records and drivers including licenses, MOT certificates and business use insurance are checked.

If a mini-bus is used for outings the following procedures will be followed:

  • Ensure seat belts are used as appropriate
  • Ensure the maximum seating is not exceeded
  • Nursery practitioners will be present with the children in the vehicle at the appropriate ratios
  • An adult must sit in the seat by the sliding door and one adult at the back of the mini-bus
  • No child will be left in a vehicle unattended
  • Extra care will be taken when getting into or out of a vehicle
  • The vehicle will be equipped with a fire extinguisher and emergency kit containing warning triangle, torch, blankets, wheel changing equipment etc.

Under no circumstances should any other private vehicle be used to transport children.

Public transport

  • If using public transport, there will be a minimum of 3 staff present
  • One practitioner will go on the bus first to direct children where to sit
  • The second practitioner will get on the bus and name check children at the door. One practitioner must be the last from the group to get on the transport and will not get in until all children have been name checked on.
  • The same procedure should be followed in reverse for getting off the bus.
  • The first practitioner should get off the bus and be ready to gather the children in a group. The second practitioner will stand at the bus door and name check children off.
  • One practitioner must be the last in the group to get off the bus and will make sure all children have been accounted for before getting off.

Procedure for lost children during an outing

  • Refer to the Missing Child Procedure on Outings
  • Incidents will be recorded in full and the Care Inspectorate informed when appropriate

Procedure for accidents and emergencies

  • Accidents should be dealt with in accordance wit the Accidents and Incidents Policy and First Aid Procedure. Staff will assess if it is appropriate that the group should return to the nursery early due to an incident that has occurred. In the event that an ambulance is required while on an outing, and the child’s parents/carers are not present, the most appropriate member of staff will accompany the child to hospital. The rest of the group will return to the nursery.
  • In the event of an emergency such as dangerous weather or a terrorist attack while on an outing, staff should find a safe haven and remain there with all children until the danger passes. A group text message should be sent from the nursery phone to all parents/carers to inform them that the children are safe.