First aid qualifications becoming required for newly qualified staff

All newly qualified staff with a childcare level 2 and 3 qualification will be required to have an emergency paediatric first aid or full paediatric first aid certificate, under new Government proposals.

The plans have received the support of parents Joanne and Dan Thompson, who have been campaigning for the change, after their daughter, nine-month-old Millie, choked to death on her lunch at Ramillies Hall School and Nursery in Cheadle Hulme.

They started a campaign and culminated over 103,000 signatures in an e-petition. They also want nurseries that have achieved gold-standard provision to display a new special award for having such high standards ‘Millie’s Mark’.

Childcare and Education Minister, Sam Gyimah said: “As a parent myself, I know that every single mum and dad wants the confidence that those tasked with caring for their child have the right training should the absolute worst happen.

“The proposals will mean that thousands more staff will be able to respond to emergencies more quickly, making sure parents really can access the very best possible childcare choices for their families.”

He added: “Not only will this help ensure children are safe while they learn, grow and develop, but it will also raise the quality and skills of the early years workforce to help them deal with day-to-day first aid issues, such as allergies and knowing when to call parents.”

Examples of great practice

NDNA has been working with the Department for Education to bring together case studies of good early years practice in providing for sufficient first aid that nurseries can benchmark their own procedures against. Some nurseries ( really do go the extra mile so ensure the safety of their children.

Bright Beginnings in Leeds stages regular training and discussion, testing staff knowledge, and the Old School House in Newmarket Suffolk, which runs mock emergency scenario exercises.

NDNA’s director of quality and workforce development, Stella Ziolkowski said: “We welcome these proposals and we’ve been working closely with the Government to share knowledge from our members.

“The nurseries featured in our case studies have robust risk assessment methods in place and take regular action such as emergency drill exercises.

“We know that this is about more than training, for example regularly talking through procedures in the workplace, thinking about possible scenarios and building people’s confidence so that they are able to act effectively in an emergency.”

Ms Ziolkowski added: “If the paediatric first aid is embedded into level 2 and 3 qualifications, it will reduce the financial burden to employers while putting the safety of children at the heart of what they do.”

NDNA’s case studies have been praised by St John Ambulance. Andrew New, head of training at St John Ambulance, said: “The case studies provide fantastic examples of nursery settings which have gone out of their way to ensure that their first aid coverage reflects the risks to young children’s safety.

“When nursery settings take proactive steps to identify and address the risks, the chance of a dreadful outcome when something goes wrong is reduced and the children in their care gain from a safe place to develop and grow.”

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