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.
Notes to editors
- The announcement on first aid training follows a review by the Department for Education, carried out in response to a petition by Joanne and Dan Thompson, the parents of Millie Thompson, who tragically passed away following a choking incident at her nursery in October 2012.
- The training proposals will be subject to a full consultation during the next Parliamentary session. The proposals are expected to come into effect by September 2016. The proposals will cover all early years settings except childminders.
- Under current rules, early years providers must have at least one paediatric first aider available on the premises at all times. The new requirement would mean that a nursery recruiting a level 2 or level 3 member of staff who had newly completed their early years/childcare qualification must have an emergency paediatric first aid or a full paediatric first aid certificate, if they are to count towards the staff/qualification ratios under the early years foundation stage. The emergency first aid training course would be the equivalent of 1 day of training and would need to be refreshed every 3 years in order for the staff member to keep counting in the ratios.
- To support early years providers to meet their responsibilities, we have funded the National Day Nurseries Association to produce case studies and guidance. The NDNA are today publishing 12 case studies, with more good-practice material for nurseries to follow later this month.
- The department will now look into the scope of Millie’s Mark and how it will be awarded. The scheme is expected to be up and running in early 2016.
- As they do currently, when Ofsted register and inspect early years providers they will check on the PFA certificates held by staff.
- In November 2014, the government announced details of a new deal to allow all UK schools to purchase automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at a reduced price. The only early years settings previously able to access these arrangements were maintained and independent nursery schools. Today’s announcement will extend the deal to:
* pre-school establishments
* private, voluntary and independent nurseries
* holiday and out-of-school providers.
- See details of how to purchase an AED under the arrangements.