Government seeks sector's views on compulsory first aid training

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A Government consultation has been launched on proposals for all newly qualified nursery staff to undertake paediatric first aid training for the first time.

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Launched yesterday, the consultation seeks the views of the sector, parents, health professionals and local authorities on plans to make it compulsory for all newly qualified Level 2 and Level 3 early years staff to hold either a full Paediatric First Aid (PFA) or an emergency PFA certificate if they are to count towards adult:child ratios under the EYFS.

Currently, early years providers must have at least one paediatric first aider available on the premises at all time.

The plans, which if given the go ahead will come into effect by September 2016, are in response to a campaign by Joanne and Dan Thompson, whose daughter Millie died after choking at nursery in 2012.

More than 100,000 people signed the couple’s online petition calling for compulsory first aid training.

According to a story by Nursery World in March, the emergency first aid training course would be equivalent to one day’s training and will need to be refreshed by staff every three years.

The Department for Education’s consultation on amendments to the paediatric first aid requirements in the EYFS closes on 10 December 2015.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said, ‘We warmly welcome the consultation on paediatric first aid requirements, and the fact that the Government is taking proactive steps to ensure that the EYFS framework reflects best practice in this area.

‘The safety and well-being of children should always, without exception, be at the centre of quality early years provision, and Joanne and Dan Thompson should be commended for the pivotal role that Millie's Trust has played in bringing about such a positive change.

‘We look forward to working with the Department for Education to ensure that the details of these requirements are fully thought through, that they are based on the best interests of the child and, crucially, that providers are adequately supported in implementing them.’

  • The consultation is available here
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