Childcare settings in Scotland will now be eligible to apply for Millie’s Mark, the gold standard in Paediatric First Aid for childcare providers. The childcare quality endorsement scheme received the green flag from the Scottish Government, with Children’s Minister Marie Todd MSP visiting the Orchard Nursery in Edinburgh to mark its launch. The Orchard Nursery is one of the first few nurseries in Scotland to sign up for the voluntary accreditation scheme.
Millie’s Mark is a quality endorsement mark awarded to childcare providers who go above and beyond the minimum requirements and have 100% of their childcare staff trained in paediatric first aid and emergency response.
The initiative was launched by the National Day Nursery’s Association (NDNA) and the Department of Education in liaison with the Millie’s Trust to encourage childcare providers to empower all members of staff with the knowledge, skills and confidence to respond to an emergency, and minimise risk and accidents at their settings.
Millie’s Trust was formed by Dan and Lianne Thompson in 2016 following the death of their young daughter Millie, who choked on food in a nursery in England. The charity focuses on ensuring all childcare providers understand the importance of paediatric first aid and take an effort to refresh their knowledge and review all emergency procedures.
There are currently no specific regulatory requirements under Scotland's Health and Social Care Standards regarding the number of staff who should be trained in paediatric first aid in a setting. Acquiring a Millie's Mark is expected to help providers gain the confidence to tackle emergencies and give parents the peace of mind that the staff at their child’s setting are capable of handling an emergency first aid situation.
The Accreditation Process
The Millie’s Mark accreditation is a three to six-month-long process which starts with a risk assessment and detailed audit of the setting's existing first aid processes and procedures. An allocated mentor would then work with the setting to identify any areas of improvement and develop an action plan to implement any suggested improvements. A full online assessment is carried out at the end of the process to ensure all criteria for the award are met. The evaluation is sometimes followed by a spot check for quality assurance, for a small percentage of the settings. You can find more details about the process on the Millie’s Mark website here.
Millie’s Mark has been awarded to 450 nurseries across England since its inception in September 2016, and 110 child care providers are currently working towards the award.