Childcare Hand Washing Policy

17 May 2020 - Flaaim


  1. Good handwashing and drying procedures help to protect both staff and children from infections, germs, wound contamination and help to preserve general hand and nail health.
  2. This policy is designed to facilitate a good handwashing routine in the [insert the name of the company/nursery].
  3. A handwashing policy needs to be in place to prevent the hands from becoming a medium for cross-infection.
  4. Management is responsible for making sure that handwashing training is delivered to staff and a record of it is kept.
  5. It is [insert the name of the company/nursery]’s responsibility to ensure that all children are encouraged to wash their hands as required by this policy.
  6. All visitors to the premises (for example: cooks, workmen and delivery personnel) should also comply with this handwashing policy.

Handwashing options

  1. Liquid soap and running warm water provide effective disinfection if done in accordance with this handwashing policy. The [insert the name of the company/nursery] provides liquid soap and [disposable paper towels/electric dryers/hygienic and sterile cloth towels] by each sink for both staff and children.
  2. [Alcohol based hands rub is offered as an effective alternative to running water and soap for staff and children. The hand rub dispenser is located [ each sink/by entrance to each room].]
  3. [Anti microbial agents are made available to staff when they deal with an open wound or a child with a special health condition. This anti microbial material is located [ each sink/by entrance to each room].] [However, it is the policy of [insert the name of the company/nursery] that staff should always wear disposable rubber gloves in such situations.]]


  1. All skin wounds need to be covered with a waterproof plaster.
  2. Any skin irritation needs to be reported to [inser name and details].
  3. [Staff are provided with a [hypoallergenic] non-perfumed cream to apply after handwashing.]

Staff handwashing responsibilities

  1. All carers are obliged to keep their hands washed and clean throughout their shift.
  2. Staff are obliged to encourage each other and the children to maintain the handwashing policy at all times.
  3. Staff are responsible for washing their hands particularly:
    • before and after changing a nappy. [However, it is the policy of [insert the name of the company/nursery] that all staff should always wear disposable rubber gloves for nappy changing.];
    • after cleaning a child’s nose;
    • before and after handling food;
    • after using the toilet;
    • after using cleaning sprays and other cleaning materials ( e.g. liquids, sponges or cloths);
    • before and after dealing with an open wound. [However, it is the policy of [insert the name of the company/nursery] that staff should always wear disposable rubber gloves in such situations.];
    • before and after applying a plaster;
    • after dealing with spills of bodily fluids [However, it is the policy of [insert the name of the company/nursery] that staff should always wear disposable rubber gloves in such situations.];
    • after caring for a sick child;
    • after handling soiled clothing or linen;
    • after dealing with waste.

Staff duty to encourage children to wash hands

  1. It is important that good handwashing habits are incorporated into the daily routine of [insert the name of the company/nursery] and the care provided. Therefore, all children should be encouraged to wash their hands:
    • after every toilet session;
    • before eating;
    • after contact with pets.
  2. Staff have a duty to oversee the children’s handwashing and to make sure that correct handwashing procedure is followed by the children at all times.

Hand washing guidelines

  1. In order to wash hands effectively the following steps need to be fulfilled :
    • first wet your hands with warm running water;
    • apply a small amount of liquid soap;
    • wash hands for 15-30seconds;
    • rinse hands of any soap;
    • hands need to be effectively dried by [disposable towel/dryer];
    • never use extremely hot or cold water;
    • never use and share nail brushes.

Outdoor activity

  1. The staff have a duty to ensure that the children wash their hands after any outdoor activity.
  2. If the staff are taking children for a walk, field trip or outdoor activity that is not taking place in the nursery’s compound, the staff are obliged to carry a sufficient amount of alcohol based hand rub and should ensure the staff and children use it when necessary.
  3. Staff should ensure that the children use the alcohol based hand rub while outdoors:
    • After contact with pets and other animals;
    • After any play involving contact with soil, sand, plants, etc;
    • Before eating a snack.
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