The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham visited the Co-op Childcare nursery in Wythenshawe to celebrate Co-op Childcare achieving 100% Millie’s Mark accreditation.
Earlier this year, Co-op Childcare became the first large childcare provider to achieve Millie’s Mark across all 44 of its settings, showcasing its nationwide commitment to child safety.
Mayor Andy Burnham was joined by representatives from Co-Op Childcare, Millie’s Trust and National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) which delivers Millie’s Mark to celebrate this momentous occasion.
The mark certifies that all Co-op Childcare practitioners are fully trained in paediatric first aid and confident enough to put their knowledge into practice should an emergency arise. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidelines require only one first aid trained practitioner to be on nursery premises at any given time.
The Mayor was given a tour of the nursery then spent time chatting to staff and children and playing with the children outside and inside.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “We all want our youngest children to grow up in the safest possible environment but any parent will know that anything can happen in an instant. That’s why it’s so important that all staff caring for children have the first aid skills and confidence to respond to any incident. I have seen first-hand the difference it can make when someone confident in first aid skills can step into a life-threatening situation. People do not automatically know what to do or how to help.
“The work of Dan and Joanne in setting up Millie’s Trust and getting nurseries accredited through their work with NDNA is a great credit to them. I am really impressed that Co-Op Childcare has achieved Millie’s Mark across their group. It’s a great example of nurseries going above and beyond and has to be very reassuring for parents.”
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “I would like to once again congratulate everyone involved in helping Co-op Childcare achieve 100% Millie’s Mark accreditation.
“Co-op Childcare is the first large provider to receive the mark on such a big scale and look forward to seeing more groups reach this milestone as Millie’s Mark becomes the industry first aid standard.”
Co-op Childcare has been involved with the scheme since it was first piloted at its Newburn nursery in 2016. Its Dewsbury nursery was then announced as the 300th UK nursery to achieve the accreditation in summer 2018, before full accreditation was achieved in early 2019.
Sally Bonnar, Chief Operating Officer at Co-op Childcare, commented: “We know how important it is to ensure that all colleagues within our nurseries have the skills that might one day enable them to save a child’s life, and we are incredibly proud of our practitioners and training team for achieving Millie’s Mark across all our nurseries. The parents that put their children in our care every day tell us that the Mark gives them peace of mind and reassurance, so we hope we will soon see this widely implemented across the industry.”
To achieve this, Co-op Childcare’s learning and development team rolled out an extensive paediatric first aid training course across its entire estate of nurseries. This on-going programme ensures the training of all Co-op Childcare practitioners and regular refresh sessions. To deliver this, the team first had to achieve accreditation to become certified paediatric first aid trainers and then visited all nurseries to conduct the two-day sessions. So far, 1,300 practitioners have benefited from the training, with more than 15,000 colleague hours committed to the project in total.
Millie’s Trust was set up by Joanne and Dan Thompson in 2012 following the death of their nine-month-old daughter after a choking incident at nursery. The organisation now campaigns to increase legal first aid qualification requirements amongst childcare providers. Millie’s Mark is delivered by Millie’s Trust in partnership with NDNA.
Joanne Thompson of Millie’s Trust said: "It is vitally important that all staff members know how to react in an emergency situation, especially when it involves a child. We put our children in the hands of other people and we need to know that they have knowledge to give them help if they needed it. Millie's Mark goes above and beyond the current minimum requirements with training, knowledge and most of the all the confidence needed to deal with any situation."
In order to be accredited, nurseries must undergo a detailed audit and risk assessment process. They must also indicate strong delivery of paediatric first aid training and understanding amongst colleagues through in-depth training courses.
Find out more about Millie’s Mark at www.milliesmark.com