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Ten nurseries get landmark Millie's Mark first aid award

Article By: Angeline Albert, News Editor

Ten nurseries have become the first in England to achieve Millie’s Mark, the new quality mark for excellence in paediatric first aid for early years settings.

Stephanie Beschizza, manager at Elm Cottage Nursery, with children, staff and Millie the Giraffe

Millie’s Mark is awarded to nurseries where 100 per cent of staff who work with children are qualified in paediatric first aid.

Criteria to achieve Millie’s Mark stipulates that learning is kept in the forefront of practitioners’ minds, so they are confident, ready and capable to respond, should an emergency occur. Accreditation lasts for three years. After achieving the criteria involved, first awards were made to nurseries that took part in a pilot ahead of last September's go-live of the quality mark

Elm Cottage Nursery in Cheadle Hulme, is one of the ten nurseries to receive the award. Stephanie Beschizza, manager of Elm Cottage said: "Being part of the pilot for Millie's Mark and achieving the award has been such an achievement for our nursery. It helped us to reflect on our practice and realise our many strengths surrounding paediatric first aid as well as evaluating what we could do further to improve on standards.

“We will be proud to inform our parents that we have this award and hope this is a reassuring factor for them when leaving their children in our care."

The Millie's Mark status was created by charity Millie’s Trust with the Department for Education and is being administered by National Day Nurseries Association. The process takes three to six months and involves support from an NDNA mentor, completion of an audit and spot checks.

Millie’s Trust was formed in 2012 by Joanne and Dan Thompson, whose daughter Millie died after choking on food at her nursery in Stockport. The Trust has campaigned tirelessly for all early years staff to be trained in paediatric first aid.

Joanne Thompson said: “As Millie's parents, we are extremely proud that Millie's Mark is our daughter's legacy and we are so pleased that the first ten nurseries in England have now received their award. The response from the sector has been fantastic and we are pleased that so many nurseries across England have already made an application for the mark.

“For parents, choosing a nursery with the mark allows them to have confidence in the paediatric first aid training that the people looking after their children will have".

The 10 nurseries to receive the award are:

• HeadStart Day Nursery in Horsham

• Happy Tots Preschool Play Group in Ipswich

• Little People Nursery in Shepherds Bush in London

• Sansway House Day Nursery in Bristol

• Elm Cottage in Greater Manchester

• North Cheshire Jewish Nursery in Greater Manchester

• Granby Nursery in Worksop

• Cooperative Childcare Newburn in Newcastle Upon Tyne

• Nature Trails Day Nursery in Rugby

• Turnbridge Day Nursery in Goole

What's involved in accreditation?

Applicants for Millie's Mark are allocated a mentor to guide them through the process and check the criteria can be met by the end of the six months.

Nurseries must undergo an audit of their setting examining paediatric first aid processes and procedures. The audit requires evidence of: staff deployment; due diligence process; staffing and ongoing paediatric first aid training during the Millie’s Mark three year cycle; partnerships with parents and external stakeholders; policies and assessment documents and use these to inform improvement, staff confidence, training and a floor plan review.

If areas for improvement are identified, the mentor will work with the setting to develop an action plan. When all the steps are complete, applicants must upload the evidence to the Millie’s Mark website. An assessor is allocated to check and evaluate this material when it has been completed.

The Millie’s Mark assessment panel makes the final decision on whether to award accreditation. After achieving Millie’s Mark, some settings will be subject to a spot check assessment on site, with notification the day before the visit.

Purnima Tanuku chief executive of NDNA, said: “Millie’s Mark is a fantastic achievement for these nurseries. It will give reassurance for parents and help keep young children safe in nurseries across the country.

“We hope it will help parents make an informed choice about childcare.”

All settings awarded Millie’s Mark are listed on the Millie's Mark website. For more information visit


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