Administering medication to children in early years

Administering medication to children in early years and childcare settings: Ensuring safety and compliance

Administering medication to children in early years and childcare settings is a crucial responsibility that demands utmost care and adherence to regulations. Whether it's managing allergies, chronic conditions, or emergencies, proper medication administration ensures the well-being of children under care. In this blog, Anne delves into the importance of this subject matter, highlighting key facts, legislation, regulations, and best practices to ensure safety and compliance.

Key facts and statistics

  • According to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), approximately 25% of children in the UK have a long-term health condition, emphasising the necessity of medication administration in childcare settings.
  • The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) reports that around 84% of nurseries and early years settings administer medication to children.

Key definitions

  • Medication administration - The process of giving prescribed medications to children safely and effectively.
  • Designated person - An individual appointed within the childcare setting responsible for overseeing medication administration.

Legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - The HSE provides guidelines on managing medication safely in childcare settings, emphasizing risk assessment, staff training, and storage protocols.
  • Care Quality Commission (CQC) - Childcare providers must comply with CQC regulations regarding medication administration, ensuring children receive appropriate care and support.
  • Ofsted - Ofsted regulations require childcare settings to have robust medication policies and procedures, including staff training and parental consent protocols.

Importance of proper medication administration

Ensuring the correct dosage and timing of medication is essential to prevent adverse reactions and promote children's health and well-being.

Risk assessment and training

Childcare providers must conduct thorough risk assessments to identify potential hazards associated with medication administration. Staff should undergo regular training sessions to familiarise themselves with medication protocols and emergency procedures.

Storage and record-keeping

Medications should be stored securely, out of the reach of children, and in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. Accurate record-keeping and documenting each dose administered, including the date, time, dosage, and any side effects observed, are vital.


  • Develop comprehensive medication policies and procedures tailored to the specific needs of the childcare setting.
  • Regularly review and update staff training to ensure compliance with current regulations and best practices.
  • Foster open communication with parents, providing clear guidance on medication administration protocols and obtaining written consent when necessary.


Administering medication to children in early years and childcare settings is a responsibility that demands diligence, knowledge, and adherence to regulations. By prioritising safety, implementing robust policies, and fostering effective communication, childcare providers can ensure the well-being of the children under their care.

Click here to explore our comprehensive training courses tailored for childcare in early years to learn more about medication administration guidelines and best practices. Ensure your staff have the knowledge and skills to promote safe medication practices in your childcare setting.

About the author

Anne Rodgers

Anne has over 40 years of experience in the early years sector including owning and managing a chain of nurseries, lecturing and assessing and writing books, blogs and courses on early years. She is a real advocate for continual professional development so that early years staff remain current in their job roles and have the knowledge to help them provide high quality care and education to young children.

Administering medication to children in early years and childcare settings - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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