100 signatures reached
To: Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years
Keep Children in Scotland Safe
Ask Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, to guarantee all Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Providers have at least one member of staff on duty with a 12 hour Paediatric First Aid certificate - when children are in nursery, at play group or on school trips.
Why is this important?
Not all nurseries or childcare providers in Scotland have trained staff in paediatric first aid on site to deal with immediate life threatening first aid emergencies like choking or asthma attacks.
Infants and children, who need simple first aid treatment, before an ambulance arrives, are being put at risk everyday.
In England and Wales, all childcare settings should have at least 1 member of staff with a 12 hour Paediatric First Aid qualification. This became law in September 2014. The tragic Millie Thompson case in 2012 brought into sharp focus the fact that paediatric first aid training can mean the difference between the life and death of a child.
Since 2016 we have been asking the Scottish Government why this law can't be applied to all Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Providers in Scotland, to bring us in line with England and Wales.
We have discussed the issue with the previous and current Scottish Minister for Childcare and Early Years and had prolonged discussions with the Care Inspectorate (the government body responsible for inspecting childcare providers) but have been unsuccessful in moving this issue forwards.
The Scottish government does not seem to think that any childcare staff on duty, when children are present in nurseries, or on visits, needs to hold a Paediatric First Aid qualification.
In late 2016 we contacted all 32 Local Authorities in Scotland under FOI legislation to ask how many of their registered childcare providers had staff with Paediatric First Aid qualifications. Their replies were shocking:
• 30% of Local Authorities said they did not require ELC Providers to have staff on site with a Paediatric First Aid qualification.
• Of those that did require Paediatric First Aid training, this varied widely from 3 - 9 hours. There was no consistency of course length or course content across Local Authorities.
Why a 12-hour Paediatric First Aid course?
Not everyone realizes that first aid for infants and young children is quite different to that for adults. This course is seen as the ‘standard’ first aid course for childcare across the rest of the UK but not in Scotland.
The training includes time to cover infant and child specific issues around CPR, asthma, febrile convulsions, recognition of meningitis and more. None of these are included on a standard Emergency First Aid at Work course.
If the law were changed, to create parity between England, Wales and Scotland then this situation would be resolved instantly.
The Scottish government is working towards doubling the amount of free childcare hours for parents of young children in Scotland. More children will be put at risk for longer, unless this change is made. Now is the prefect time for Maree Todd, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, to change the law.
As other childcare legislative changes are enacted it is the perfect time to change the law to ensure that Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Providers have Paediatric First Aid trained staff on duty when children are present, or on visits.
Previous precedent’s concerning children and first aid
People say to me, you will never persuade the powers that be to change their minds. Well there are some similar precedents to this situation regarding first aid training.
In 2014 the English government issued new guidance on the use of asthma inhalers and adrenaline auto injector pens (EpiPens) so that schools and nurseries could hold a spare inhaler / auto injector in case a child lost of forget their own. It took till late 2017 for the Scottish government to follow suite and issue similar guidance, making schools and nurseries safer places for our children to be.
The issue of Paediatric First Aid training for childcare and early learning providers is similar. The law changed in England back in 2014 so sometimes it does take a while for our government to catch up!
Why should we have to wait for another young child to die in a nursery before the government acts?
What can you do?
• Sign our 38 degrees petition, asking Maree Todd MSP to change the law
• Send a Facebook or twitter message to Maree Todd MSP
• Write to Marie Todd MSP
How it will be delivered
The signatures from the petition will be sent to Maree Todd MSP to apply pressure for a change in the law.