July 8, 2016
The provision of childcare places a huge burden of responsibility on nannies and child care workers. Nothing is more important, to any parent, than the health and safely of their children. Therefore, it should be comforting news for the parents of all pre-school children that the UK Government has just announced plans to introduce compulsory paediatric first aid training for all newly qualified childcare workers, from September 2016. In a separate announcement, a new initiative has also been launched to promote a paediatric first aid ‘Gold Standard’, known as ‘Millie’s Mark’, to acknowledge child care settings that train all their staff in paediatric first aid.
Children have a nasty habit of getting themselves into trouble, particularly when they are very young! The world is full of hazards and even the most innocuous situations can sometimes result in disaster. Therefore, it’s extremely important to be prepared for an emergency.
The current UK legal requirement is for every childcare setting to have at least one person with an up-to-date paediatric first aid certificate. This person must to be available within the premises at all times and must also accompany children on trips. Childminders, and assistants (who might be in sole charge of children, for even a short period of time) must also hold a current paediatric first aid certificate. However, as the recent case of Millie Thompson illustrated, in 2012, this isn’t always sufficient. Tragically, Millie passed away after choking on her lunch at nursery in Stockport, aged just nine months.
Since the tragic death of their daughter, Joanne and Dan Thompson have campaigned tirelessly to improve the level of first aid training in early years settings in the UK. The government has also consulted on the subject, in order to gauge opinion. Based on the results of this consultation, the government has just published the following response:
“Government will proceed to include, from 1 September 2016, a requirement in the EYFS that for newly qualified early years staff (with full and relevant level 2 or level 3 childcare qualification) to also hold a current Paediatric First Aid (PFA) or emergency PFA certificate in order to be included in the required staff: child ratios in an early years setting. Childcare providers will be allowed a three month ‘grace’ period to complete PFA training after starting work with a new employer.”
“This is fantastic news and a huge step in the right direction,” says Harmony a Home Founder and Director, Mrs Frankie Gray.
In a separate development, the Department for Education has also launched a new paediatric first aid ‘Gold Standard’, known as ‘Millie’s Mark’. This new quality mark (named in honour of Millie Thompson) will reassure parents that every staff member, who directly cares for children, is qualified in paediatric first aid. This is a hugely important legacy, from a young life tragically taken, which could help save lives up and down the country.
Visit the Harmony at Home website to book your place on a Paediatric First Aid Course.
Rob Hodgkison, Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2016