New nursery and pre-school staff will be required to undertake paediatric first aid for the first time, thanks to new government proposals.
The plans have received the support of parents Joanne and Dan Thompson, who have been campaigning for the change following the tragic death of their daughter, Millie, at nursery in October 2012. Their important campaign culminated in an e-petition signed by over 103,000 people.
The new proposals will mean newly qualified staff with a childcare level 2 and 3 qualification must have an emergency paediatric first aid or full paediatric first aid certificate – a life-saving change that will add approximately 15,000 additional trained early years professionals to our nurseries and pre-schools each and every year.
Mr and Mrs Thompson have also given their backing to the creation of a new special certificate – to be known as ‘Millie’s Mark’ – to be displayed by nurseries who have achieved gold-standard provision. The certificate will help to give parents assurance that their child is being cared for by safe and knowledgeable staff. It is hoped that over time the 2 initiatives announced today will help ensure that as many staff members as possible are trained in these important, life-saving skills.
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.
Today’s 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.
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.
Joanne and Dan Thompson said:
We are both extremely pleased that the government have listened to our awareness campaign, and changes are being made that could ultimately save a child’s life.
We are proud that these changes are being made in memory of our precious daughter and that her legacy continues to grow – but we are heartbroken that these changes are only coming into place because we lost her.
The estimate of 15,000 new childcare workers entering the workplace with this specific qualification is fantastic news for parents and we fully support ‘Millie’s Mark’, and are looking forward to working with the specific government departments to help turn this into a reality.
The government has also announced today (12 March 2015) that it is extending a special deal enabling schools to buy life-saving defibrillator machines at reduced prices to all early years settings, including holiday and out-of-school providers.
Defibrillators are easy-to-use machines that could mean the difference between life and death for a child suffering from cardiac arrest. The machines work by delivering a controlled electric shock to the heart through sticky pads placed on the chest. The shocks interrupt the irregular heart rhythm that characterises a cardiac arrest, causing it to return to normal.