New early years first aid award launches

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From today (1 September) nurseries can apply for a new first aid award, Millie’s Mark.

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Millie's Mark is now open to all early years settings in England, when all staff are qualified in paediatric first aid

The new quality mark was created by the charity Millie’s Trust in partnership with the Department for Education.

The trust was set up by Joanne and Dan Thompson in memory of their daughter who died after choking on food at her nursery in Stockport.

The charity provides first aid education and training and launched a petition calling for all nursery practitioners to be trained in paediatric first aid. The petition was signed by more than 100,000 people.

As a result, from this month all newly qualified staff with a childcare Level 2 and 3 qualification will have an emergency paediatric first aid or full paediatric first aid certificate.

Nurseries will receive Millie’s Mark where all staff members are qualified in paediatric first aid and that have well-deployed first aid processes.

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of National Day Nurseries Association, which is administering the award, said, ‘We are delighted to be working with Millie’s Trust on such an important quality mark which will give reassurance for parents and help keep young children safer in nurseries across the country.’

There have been almost 500 expressions of interest from nurseries following the launch at NDNA’s conference in July. The  website www.milliesmark.com goes live today and is now officially open for applications.

Ms Tanuku added, ‘We hope that this quality mark will help parents make an informed choice about childcare and keep young children safe.’

Caroline Dinenage, the new minister for early years said, ‘First aid skills can make all the difference when it comes to keeping our children safe. This new quality mark aims to reassure families that the staff looking after their loved ones are trained in these vital life-saving skills and I would encourage as many nurseries as possible to apply.’

Ten nurseries have been piloting the process and will be among the first to be awarded the quality mark.

Ms Thompson said, ‘We are overjoyed that Millie’s Mark has become a reality in England and we are extremely encouraged by the amount of interest that the mark has received so far over the summer.’

She said that the trust would now be campaigning for the award to be accepted in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland as well.

All nurseries which apply within the first week will be entered into a prize draw to win a visit from Millie the Giraffe, the mark’s mascot, subject to achieving the award.

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