Millie’s Mark has now received full endorsement from the Scottish Government, with children’s minister Maree Todd visiting The Orchard Nursery on Inverleith Row in Edinburgh, one of the first Scottish settings to sign up to the scheme, to mark its launch.
The award, which recognises excellence in paediatric first aid for early years settings, was first set up in England by Millie's trust and the National Day Nurseries Association in 2016.
In order to achieve the award, all staff working with children must be trained in paediatric first aid and remain fully up to date with all related policies and procedures.
Almost 450 nurseries in England have received Millie’s Mark so far, with 110 childcare providers currently working towards it.
Ms Todd said, ‘Nurseries that sign up to Millie’s Mark will be able to tell parents that they are trained to a high standard in first aid for babies and toddlers, and I’m very pleased that staff are keen to undertake these additional training opportunities where they are available.’
Millie's Trust was set up by Dan and Joanne Thompson following the death of their young daughter who choked on food in a nursery.
The Thompsons said, ‘As Millie's parents, we are extremely proud that Millie's Mark is launching in Scotland after seeing the response in England. We are dedicated to seeing that all childcare staff know the importance of paediatric first aid and Millie's Mark allows them to review their own emergency procedures and refresh all the knowledge of anyone taking care of a child.
‘For parents it allows them to see that the people looking after their children have the necessary skills and knowledge to react to an emergency situation and this allows parents to feel more confident in placing their children in these particular settings. We are very much looking forward to seeing the first nurseries awarded in Scotland later this year.’
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of NDNA, said the association’s research had found that a third of Scottish parents were unsure whether the staff in their child’s nursery could handle an emergency first aid situation.
Ms Tanuku said it would be ‘very reassuring’ for parents to know settings had Millie’s Mark.
The award would also benefit settings, she added.
‘We know from feedback from nurseries who have achieved the Mark that their staff are much more confident in dealing with accidents and injuries.
‘In addition, they have seen an increase in enquiries from parents who are happy and reassured that their child is in safe hands.’