Lilliput Day Nursery has been established and has provided high quality childcare for over 13 years. Since the day we opened our doors we recognised the importance of exceeding the legal requirements of having one paediatric first aid trained member of staff on site at all times and have always ensured that 100% of our staff have this qualification.
Children have accidents. They fall over. They bump into things. They bump into each other. While we do everything possible to keep the children safe we cannot wrap them in cottonwool and stop them from running around and exploring their environment. But by having staff that are confident in their training and ability we can then be confident in our ability to assess risks and keep the children as safe as we possibly can.
With this in mind we took the decision to embark on the journey of Millies Mark, which is England’s gold standard in paediatric first aid.
What is Millie’s Mark?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidelines, which childcare settings in England are required to follow, currently state that just one person with a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present or on outings.
Millie’s Mark is awarded as a special endorsement to childcare providers that go above and beyond these minimum requirements by having 100% of staff trained in paediatric first aid, and also ensuring that everything learned during the course is kept alive and in the forefront of practitioners’ minds so that they are confident, ready and capable.
The aim of Millie’s Mark is to keep children safe and minimise risk and accidents by:
Raising standards in paediatric first aid
*Increasing numbers of paediatric first aid-trained practitioners
*Increasing confidence and competencies in applying paediatric first aid – no matter what the situation
*Enabling practitioners to respond quickly in emergencies
*Raising the quality and skills of the early years workforce and helping them with day-to-day first aid issues, such
*Providing reassurance to parents.
When a setting gains the Millie’s Mark accreditation, it provides reassurance for parents that all childcare practitioners know what to do in a paediatric first aid situation.
It acknowledges that children’s safety is at the forefront of our minds when we care for your children.
When Millies Mark was released as an accreditation though the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) we initially decided that we didn’t need to do this. It was quite expensive and all of our staff have always been first aid trained. So what was the point?
As we looked into it more, we realised, well actually, just because staff have a certificate it doesn’t mean they are capable and confident should a situation arise.
So what did the accreditation involve?
Millie’s Mark accreditation is a comprehensive process, which not only requires settings to have 100% of staff working directly with children qualified in paediatric first aid but in order to be awarded, childcare settings must demonstrate that the learning is kept alive and in the forefront of practitioners’ minds, so they are confident, ready and capable should an emergency occur.
When a setting signs up to Millie’s Mark they are signing up to a three to six month process of accreditation, involving:
Being allocated a Millie’s Mark mentor, who is available for support throughout the process.
With the support of the mentor we checked that our processes and procedures were up to the standard required through:
A setting audit – this audit looked at our paediatric first aid processes and procedures. The audit required evidence of: staff deployment; due diligence process; staffing and ongoing paediatric first aid training during the Millie’s Mark three year cycle; partnership with parents and documentation – policies and assessments and using these to inform improvement
Staff confidence audit
Staff training matrix
Floor plan review.
If areas for improvement were identified, the mentor worked with us to develop an action plan to support improvement.
When all the above steps were complete we uploaded the evidence to the Millie’s Mark website. An assessor was allocated and carried out a full online assessment and additional checks to ensure that we met all the criteria for Millie’s Mark.
A percentage of settings that have been assessed online will be subject to a spot check assessment on site and notified the day before the visit.
To manage quality of the assessment process, internal verification is carried out on all assessors to ensure the decision making process is standardised. A detailed summary on both assessment and internal verification is then reviewed by the Millie’s Mark Panel who ultimately decide from all the evidence submitted whether to award or if further information is required to fully meet the criteria. This panel is in place to maintain the quality and integrity of the process and maintain the standard of Millie’s Mark.
(reference Millies Mark website)
Now, Millies Mark wasn’t easy to complete and why should it be? It was a time consuming process that really made us all think about how we deal with accidents but it has made us all much more confident.
To remain accredited we have to ensure that we keep our first aid qualifications up to date, that all new staff become paediatric first aid qualified within 3 months of starting with us and that all staff remain knowledgeable of the Millies Mark requirements.
The accreditation lasts 3 years but we can be spot checked at any time during this period so we are regularly updating our skills and checking our staffs knowledge through in house training at our regular staff meetings to ensure the Millies Mark standards remain in place.
If you are looking for a Millies Mark accredited nursery in the Rubery or Kings Heath area of Birmingham then give us a call and we can discuss your requirements with you.
If you’re looking for a Millies Mark accredited nursery or other childcare provider in another area of the country, then go to www.milliesmark.co.uk and search by postcode.
After being quite sceptical of doing this, we are really glad we did. It has really inspired confidence in our staff and we’d like to thank Emma and Chelsea who co ordinated this and all of our staff who whole heartedly embraced it. We are very proud of you all.