• Date of the audit

  • Audit start time

First impressions

  • Does the approach to the nursery look clean, well maintained, inviting and free of rubbish?

  • Is the nursery's entrance area inviting and homely, with a well-presented parent's notice board and staff photo board?

  • Does the nursery overall look well kept and well maintained both inside and out?

Cleanliness and tidiness

  • Do ALL areas of the nursery generally look and feel clean (e.g. free of excessive cobwebs, dust, dirt etc.)?

  • Do the toilet areas (both staff and children?s) look and smell clean and are they tidy?

  • Do all soft furnishings (e.g. sofas, curtains, carpets, rugs, cushions etc.) look clean and free of excessive dust, stains, dirt etc?

  • Does the nursery look tidy, free of clutter and well organised throughout, including in storage cupboards, the office, the staff room, the outside play area, the car park etc.?


  • Do all the staff / visitor toilets have hot water, soap and toilet paper available?

  • If the heating or air conditioning is on, are ALL the windows closed?

  • Is the lint filter on the tumble dryer free from excessive fluff?

  • Is the filter in the vacuum cleaner reasonably clean and has the bag been emptied frequently enough?

  • Is the filter in the vacuum cleaner reasonably clean and does the bag look as if it is being emptied frequently enough?


  • Are all staff members in the nursery in the correct uniform, wearing a name badge and complying with all other aspects of the nursery?s dress code requirements?

  • Is the maintenance manual up to date and completed to a high standard?

Planning and record keeping

  • Is the planning board in each room up to date and does the planning that is on display appear to be of a high standard?

  • Do the children?s learning journeys appear to be up to date, of a high standard and attractively presented? (Select 2 children per room at random)

Indoor play equipment

  • Are areas of learning clearly defined in each room?

  • Do there appear to be sufficient resources (quantity, quality and variety) in each area?

  • Do the toys and other play equipment appear to be stored, presented and cared for properly?

Outdoor play area

  • Is all the equipment that is kept outdoors appear to be suitable for outdoor use?

  • Does all the large outdoor equipment appear in good condition, clean and free from obvious defects?

  • Does the outdoor play area look tidy, well maintained and inviting?

  • Does the outdoor play area offer plenty of rich learning opportunities for the children?

  • Does the outdoor play area appear to be free from obvious hazards?

Food safety

  • Is the SFBB pack up to date and are all required sections properly completed by the Cook and Nursery Manager?

  • Does the kitchen look spotlessly clean, including behind, under, inside and on top of ovens/fridges/cupboards etc?

  • Is the kitchen in good overall condition and free of damaged/excessively worn surfaces that are difficult to keep clean?

  • Are all food items in the kitchen within their use-by date and appropriately stored? Are refrigerated and frozen foods labelled with a use-by date once opened? Check all cupboards and fridges and look out for food in cupboards that should be kept in the fridge once opened.


  • Do all the rooms used by children under the age of 3 appear to be free of choking hazards? Look around carefully and check items with a choke test tube if not sure. Examples of potentially dangerous items include coins, chalk, crayons, playdough, marbles, buttons, plastic wrapping/bags, pen/marker caps, marbles and any toys that are damaged or marked as unsuitable for children under the age of 3.

  • Is food being prepared in such a way as to minimise the risk of choking? (e.g. cooked carrots in strips, soft fruit cut into small pieces, hard fruit/veg peeled and then grated or cooked, cheese spread or grated, meat minced or in thin strips, fish bones removed).

  • Are staff members aware of what they should do if a child begins to choke at nursery? Question 3 staff members chosen at random.


  • If mobiles are used on cots, are they high enough to be out of children?s reach even if they stand up? Are cots free from toys that hang across the cot?

  • Are all blind/curtain cords well out of the reach of children?

Trips and slips

  • Does all the flooring in the nursery appear to be in good condition so that it doesn?t present a risk of trips or slips?

  • Does the nursery have a supply of warning signs to alert people when floors are wet? Are these used consistently every time there is a spillage or when a floor is wet from being cleaned? Question 3 staff members selected at random about what they would do if there were a spillage or if a floor was mopped.

  • Are the car park and other outside areas free from obvious slip or trip hazards? For example, ice, moss, wet leaves, potholes.

Fire safety

  • Are all fire doors (including the kitchen door) being kept closed at all times?

  • Are all fire exits and escape routes clearly marked, clear of any obstruction and easy to open from the inside?

  • Is the fire log book up to date and completed to a high standard?

Door security

  • Are all doors leading out of children?s rooms, out of the nursery or into potentially hazardous areas (e.g. kitchen, storage rooms) fitted with a high handle or lock so that it would be impossible for a child to open the door without adult help?

  • Are all doors leading into the nursery from outside kept securely locked from inside so that an unauthorised adult would be unable to gain entry to the nursery?

Manual handling

  • Are all nappy changing locations positioned in such a way that staff members do not have to twist their back when lifting a child on or off the changing mat?

  • Are all cots fitted with drop sides and is the side always dropped before lifting a child in or out of the cot to reduce the risk of back injury?

Allergy and diet management

  • Are allergies and dietary requirements accurately recorded on Kindersoft? Check 5 children selected at random and compare the information in their file to the information recorded on Kindersoft.

  • Is an up to date (i.e. no older than a month) Kindersoft allergy list printout displayed in the kitchen, all children?s rooms and in the office?

  • Do all children have a colour coded placemat with the correct information shown on it? Check 5 children selected at random from the allergy list printout.

  • If there are any red-coded children attending the nursery, is there an individual risk assessment for each of them signed by someone at Area Manager level or above?

Medication management

  • Do all prescribed medications on site at the time of the audit have an associated Prescribed Medicine Consent form that is completed fully, accurately and in pen?

  • Is there evidence that written permission is given before non-prescribed medication is given? Ask to see 3 examples of completed forms for non-prescribed medication administered within the last month.

Hazardous chemicals

  • Is the nursery free of unauthorised hazardous chemicals? Examples might include some types of glass cleaner, dishwasher cleaner, oven cleaner, wood treatment chemicals, paint etc. Check in cupboards, garages, sheds etc.

  • Are all potentially hazardous chemicals (including medication and equipment contaminated by hazardous chemicals) stored so that they are not accessible to children? In particular, check staff toilet areas, low cupboards, countertops, fridges in rooms etc.


  • Have the Nursery Manager and Deputy Manager both attended nominated person safeguarding training?

  • Are staff aware of what the signs and symptoms of abuse may be and what they should do if they have any concerns or if a disclosure is made to them? Question 3 staff members selected at random.

Collection of children

  • Is it clear to staff who is authorised to collect each child and what should happen if someone else tries to collect a child? Question 3 staff members about 2 children each and compare their responses to the information recorded on Kindersoft.

  • Is the ?Collection Record Sheet? system being used correctly? Check collection records for the last 2 weeks.

Accident recording

  • Are all accidents being recorded properly? Review the 5 most recent accident forms for accuracy, completeness and professionalism.

  • Is there evidence that accident forms are being reviewed both individually and to identify patterns over time and that prompt action is taken to prevent a recurrence if appropriate?

Staff vetting

  • Is the vetting process being completed consistently and to a high standard for all staff members before they are left alone with children? Check 3 staff files selected at random (including a starter within the last 6 months if possible) for completed and signed vetting forms and supporting evidence (e.g. references, ID, CRB check reference etc.).

Staff training and reviews

  • Is the nursery?s core training record up to date with all required training completed on time? Does it include all current staff members, including the Cook and Cleaner?

  • Are staff members being inducted properly? Check the 3 most recent new starters and check that the relevant parts of their induction have been completed on time.

  • Are staff reviews being completed consistently and on time (i.e. annual appraisal followed up six months later)? Do the reviews appear to be of a high standard, with clear next steps identified? Check 5 staff files selected at random.

Staffing ratios and deployment

  • Are staffing ratios correct across the whole nursery at the time of the audit? (count the children and staff to make sure)

  • Are staff deployed in a sensible way across the nursery?

Signing in and out

  • Do staff consistently sign in and out when they arrive at or leave the nursery premises? Check all signing-in sheets for the last week.

  • Are children consistently signed in and out of the nursery? Check all registers for at least 2 days in the last week.

  • Are all visitors (including you) always asked to sign in and out of the nursery? Check the visitor?s book for evidence of this.

Final comments

  • Please make detailed notes of any other issues you noticed during the audit and of any suggestions for improvement that you may have.

  • Please sign here to confirm that the audit is complete

  • Time complete

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