The Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework (EYFS) outlines the standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to age five. The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) then inspect providers against the standards outlined within them.
The latest EYFS release in September 2021 included some much-needed clarity around paediatric first aid requirements for both training and equipment when working with young children.
Although, there are guidelines outlining what training is required, it can be easy to forget that we are working with people, and for many parents, leaving their child with somebody they don’t know is a daunting prospect. Be it a nursery, childminder, nanny or some other form of childcare, they are putting the safety of their child in the hands of relative strangers, and as such have certain expectations for the training and skills they will hold.
Not only will they expect that carers have the appropriate training to support and educate their child, but also the necessary skills to keep them safe. For instance, every parent will automatically assume care givers have the required Paediatric First Aid training to ensure their child or baby will be cared for in the best possible way should they be unavoidably hurt or become unwell. Leaving a child, even for the most seasoned parent, requires a lot of trust.
Sadly, there are numerous cases where children have not been so lucky, and in some instances children have even lost their lives. To help improve paediatric first aid provision across the industry there have been a number of public campaigns aimed at improving the minimum training requirement for first aid across childcare settings. We have also seen the introduction of schemes such as Millies Mark that identify those that meet or exceed the minimum standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework.
What is meant by Paediatric First Aid and what age does Paediatric First Aid cover?
Paediatric First Aid training was developed to meet the needs of the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory framework (EYFS) and includes training in a host of injuries and illnesses that child carers may be faced with when caring for young children. Whilst the framework is focussed on children aged 5 and under, the first aid skills are appropriate for all children. In fact, many of the skills apply to people of all ages, for instance the way we treat someone who has a burn or is bleeding heavily is much the same regardless of age. First aid is an invaluable skill that can be transferred into life at home as well as meeting paediatric first aid legal requirements.
Why do I need to have first aiders?
When someone is looking for a setting to care for their child, they will look at a variety of things to make the right decision. The exact list of requirements will differ from parent to parent, but it is likely they will be taking into account a whole host of consideration such as whether the staff are trained and experienced, the environment is safe and clean, that children seem happy and engaged as well as the opportunities for development and growth in fun ways. EYFS specify that qualified and newly trained staff require paediatric first aid training before they can be counted towards childcare ratios. Although it can be easy to think that EYFS paediatric first aid requirements are excessive, it is important to remember young children don’t have the capacity to see danger in the same way as an adult, and even with numerous protective measures in place accidents still happen. Childhood illnesses, such as asthma, also highlight the need for training, with the NHS reporting over 24,000 emergency admissions to hospital a single year with over 1 million children currently receiving treatment for asthma. First aid can, and does, save lives.
How many paediatric first aiders should I have?
All workplaces need to have first aid provision, both first aiders as well as equipment such as a first aid box. The number of paediatric first aiders needed will depend on the specific circumstances of your workplace, although the EYFS statutory framework does set out some minimum standards.
Essentially, we must have sufficient first aid provision to be able to help children and babies who become unwell or who are injured in our care. Treating an injured or ill child can be especially difficult, partly as they can be a little uncooperative, but also children tend to evoke an emotional response when we can see they are worried or in pain. These factors both mean it is especially important to make sure your first aiders are confident and can use the skills they have been taught in a real situation.
The EYFS paediatric first aid requirements for all childcare settings are:
At least one person who has a full current Paediatric First Aid (PFA) certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present and must accompany children on outings.
Childminders, or anyone who might be in sole charge of the children for any period of time, must hold a full current Paediatric First Aid (PFA) certificate.
Training must be renewed every three years and be relevant for workers caring for young children and, where relevant, babies. Training should take into account the number of children, staff and layout of premises to ensure that a paediatric first aider is able to respond to emergencies quickly.
All newly qualified people who have completed a Level 2 and/or Level 3 qualification on or after 30 June 2016, must also have either a full Paediatric First Aid or an Emergency Paediatric First Aid certificate within three months of starting work in order to be included in the required staff:child ratios or an Emergency Paediatric First Aid certificate within three months of starting work in order to be included in the required staff:child ratios.
Childcare providers should ensure parents know who holds a current Paediatric First Aid certificate either by displaying the information or making it available on request.
It is now also recommended that you consider annual refresher training to help maintain basic skills and keep up to date with any changes to first aid advice.
Will my paediatric training cover me for staff as well as children?
Unfortunately, not. In addition to the EYFS paediatric first aid requirements you will also need to meet the needs of the Health and Safety (first aid) regulations 1981 (HSFAR).
Unlike the EYFS statutory framework, these regulations put the responsibility on the employer by asking them to assess the first aid needs of their individual workplace and determine the level of first aid personnel and equipment is required to ensure the safety of staff. Although this sounds daunting, it really is very simple.
Who can train my staff in Paediatric First Aid?
Choosing the right course is only one part of making sure you have the most appropriate training for your needs. In addition to finding a course that covers the relevant topics, you also need to choose a suitable training provider, some settings even opt for delivering first aid training inhouse.
Whatever route you choose to learn paediatric first aid, the EYFS suggest you meet the specifications outlined in the Health and Safety Executives guide to selecting a first aid training provider, which can be found here, will help to ensure a good quality learning experience.
Can the training be online or does it have to be a classroom course?
The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory framework has been updated to reflect changing environments and access to new ways of learning. It now acknowledges that for some employers/ learners blended learning may be more appropriate than a fully classroom-based course. The EYFS expands on what this will look like if you decide to go down this route.
You can’t currently complete all the training online. The elements that make up the Emergency Paediatric First Aid course need to be delivered in a classroom type setting with a trainer to ensure there is an opportunity to practice and demonstrate the skills.
The additional 6 hours of training that make up the full Paediatric First Aid course can be delivered online if there are appropriate means for checking understanding and assessing the skill of the learner. The skills that can be included in the online aspect of the course are more theoretical, and although hands on practice can be useful in all first aid, it is believed that these types of skills can be effectively taught and assessed online, and where appropriate followed up within the face-to-face aspect of the training as needed.
Like any workplace, first aid is a key part to ensuring someone who is injured or ill gets the best possible help in an emergency.
How can we help?
We get that regulations can be hard to get your head around, knowing the different legislation or just staying on top of changes, there’s lots to get to grips with – we are here to help to the load off you. We’ll equip you with all the knowledge you need to be able to produce your own documentation and support you with managing the process as your business changes and grows.
Our Health & Safety experts can visit your business, identify any gaps in your current processes, and advise on any recommendations.
If you would like tailored advice for your workplace, want to book training for your business or organisation, then get in touch with Train Direct.
tel. 0330 223 5586,
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