Animals in the Setting (8.6)

Children learn about the natural world, its animals and other living creatures, as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. This may include contact with animals, or other living creatures, either in the setting or in visits. We aim to ensure that this is in accordance with sensible hygiene and safety controls.


During the period of the COVID-19 outbreak, the nursery school will not be permitting any pets or animals into the setting.


Animals and Pets In The Setting

  • We currently do not keep any pets at the Nursery, however, we do take the opportunity to observe frogspawn and tadpoles during the spring. We sometimes also have animals to visit.
  • If we were to consider of getting a pet for the setting, then the views of parents/carers and children when selecting an animal or creature to keep as a pet in the setting.
  • We would carry out a risk assessment, accounting for any hygiene or safety risks posed by the animal or creature.
  • We would provide suitable housing for the animal or creature and ensure that this is cleaned out regularly and is kept safely.
  • We would ensure the correct food is offered at the right times.
  • We would make arrangements for weekend and holiday care for the animal or creature.
  • We would register with the local vet and take out appropriate pet care health insurance.
  • We would make sure all vaccinations and other regular health measures, such as de-worming are up-to-date and recorded.
  • Children would be taught correct handling and care of the animal or creature and would be supervised.
  • Should animals or creatures be brought into the nursery, after handling the children would be asked to wash their hands.
  • Children would not have contact with the animal or creature’s soiled bedding.
  • Staff would wear disposable gloves when cleaning housing or handling soiled bedding.
  • If animals or creatures are brought in by visitors to show the children they are the responsibility of the owner.
  • The owner, with a nursery supervisor would carry out a risk assessment, detailing how the animal or creature is to be handled and how any safety or hygiene issues will be addressed.
  • Children wash hands thoroughly after handling any animals.

Visits to farms

  • Before a visit to a farm a risk assessment is carried out – this may take account of safety factors listed in the farm’s own risk assessment which should be viewed.
  • The outings procedure is followed.
  • Children wash their hands after contact with animals.
  • Outdoor footwear worn to visit farms are cleaned of mud and debris and would not be worn indoors.


The Policy was adopted at a meeting of: Reepham Nursery School
Held on: June 2016
Date reviewed: June 2020
Signed on behalf of the management committee:  Maria Amies – Chairperson.