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Childcare minister pledges to hold national review into first aid training in nurseries

The childcare minister has promised to hold a new national review into whether paediatric first aid training should be mandatory for all nursery practitioners.

Childcare minister, Sam Gyimah made the pledge during a debate on the issue at Westminster Hall, which was triggered by an e-petition signed by over 100,000 people.

The e-petition was set up by Joanne and Dan Thompson, parents of Millie Thompson, who died at the age of nine months, when she choked to death on her lunch at Ramillies Hall School and Nursery in Cheadle Hulme.

At the inquest into her death, the coroner said no one was to blame but recommended that all nursery practitioners should be trained in first aid.

Millie's parents, Joanne and Dan Thompson, have been campaigning through their charity Millie's Trust, to make it mandatory that everyone working in a nursery must be trained in paediatric first aid.

Currently regulations set out in the Childcare Act 2006 state that at least one person who has a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises at all times when children are present, and must accompany children on outings.

Childcare minister, Sam Gyimah, commended 'the worthwhile work that the Thompsons are doing through Millie's Trust in their daughter's memory, providing first aid courses free of charge for people who are pregnant or have children under 12 months, and providing two-day courses for a charge to nurseries'.

He added 'In the light of Millie's case, we have strengthened the Early Years Foundation Stage requirements. From this September, the Early Years Foundation Stage has made it even clearer that nurseries must always have staff available who are trained in paediatric first aid.'

He also revealed that the Government has commissioned a childcare body to produce guidance for nurseries and that a national review this year will look at whether paediatric first aid training should be mandatory.

MP Barry Sheerman (Labour Co-operative), said: 'This case has been a wake-up call to everyone that paediatric care in an emergency is totally different from first aid and needs specific training. I hope that this positive intervention from parents who are grieving—they are being positive and doing something about this issue—is an example to all of us to make these changes quickly.'

Mark Hunter, who is MP (Liberal Democrat) for Cheadle, where Ramillies Hall School and Nursery is situated, commented on the rise in children attending nurseries in the UK, due to the introduction of Government funded provision, saying: 'This debate is on a huge issue that potentially affects an awful lot of people. As demand increases, supply rises to meet that demand. As new nursery places are provided, we have a duty to ensure that all children are safe and that all staff are well trained.'

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