The First Aid Training Co-operative is calling on the Scottish Government to bring the country in line with England and Wales where it is a legal requirement for at least one member of staff in a childcare setting to hold a paediatric first aid qualification.
Owners Cory Jones and Tom Durham have written to the minister for childcare and early years, Maree Todd, warning of a 'ticking time bomb' in paediatric first aid provision in nurseries.
They have also launched a petition asking for the minister to guarantee all early learning and childcare providers have at least one member of staff on duty with a 12-hour paediatric first aid certificate when children are in nursery, at playgroup or on school trips.
Cory Jones of the First Aid Training Co-operative said, ‘It seems incredible to us that the Government is ploughing millions of pounds a year into childcare provision, but hasn’t sought to safeguard young children by implementing legislation that would ensure providers have suitably qualified staff to look after them.
‘England made this law in 2014, and we are calling on the Scottish Government to follow their lead by making it compulsory for all providers to train staff in paediatric first aid.
‘Our motivation for this campaign stems from understanding the difference in adult first aid training and that required by young children. It is not a nice-to-have, it should be compulsory as one life lost is one too many, particularly if it could be avoided.
‘Maree Todd has pledged high-quality learning and childcare as part of the Government’s flagship free nursery hours expansion. Surely the safety of children needs to form part of that equation?’
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the First Aid Training Co-operative last year revealed that 30 per cent of all 32 local authorities in Scotland do not require early learning and childcare providers to have staff on site with paediatric first aid qualifications.
Stella Ziolkowski, NDNA’s director of quality and workforce development, said, 'It would be beneficial to nurseries in Scotland if stricter legislation was in place. This is why we are currently in the process of considering expanding Millie’s Mark into Scotland.
'NDNA originally become involved with Millie’s Mark because we recognise the positive impact that this training can have in regards to keeping children as safe as possible.
'During the time we’ve being delivering Millie’s Mark in England, we have received a number of positive case studies that demonstrate the benefits that the mark has on individuals and nurseries.'
A Scottish Government spokesman said, 'The latest data we have from the Care Inspectorate annual return data shows 98 per cent of child daycare services had someone with a paediatric or first aid for children certificate available at all times when service users are receiving care.
'Having listened to the sector, we are confident the current health and safety procedures are robust and therefore do not believe a change in legislation is necessary at this time to make the 12 hour Emergency PFA [paediatric first aid] training course mandatory.'