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More nurseries confident they can save children's lives with Millie's Mark

Article By: Angeline Albert

Staff from a growing number of nurseries across England are confident they have the skills required to save a child's life because they have Millie’s Mark - a new accreditation for paediatric first aid.

Millie Thompson who died choking on food at a nursery   Credit: Millie's Trust

Millie’s Mark, an accreditation which requires all early years staff to be trained in paediatric first aid, involves a rigorous assessment process and so far 85 nurseries have gained the ‘gold’ standard for child safety, since it was launched last September.

Angela Jones, manager at Barton Moss Nursery in Salford said: “Millie’s Mark has had a massive impact on our sustainability, alongside boosting staff confidence.

“Millie’s Mark was far more than ensuring that all staff were first aid trained. Working through the process enabled us to look at all our policies and procedures in addition to assessing staff competency in dealing with emergency situations.”

To achieve Millie’s Mark, all staff must be trained in paediatric first aid, have risk assessments, a thorough setting audit which includes the setting’s practice on checking due diligence of their training providers, and checks on staff confidence and knowledge.

Parents and Ofsted inspectors impressed by Millie’s Mark

Staff at Barton Moss Nursery celebrate achieving Millie's Mark   Credit: Barton Moss Nursery

Within just three weeks of Barton Moss Nursery achieving Millie’s Mark, nearly 20 new children joined the nursery.

Ms Jones adds: ”Parents are reassured in the knowledge that, when their children are left with us, their wellbeing is our biggest priority.

“As well as being fantastic for our current families, new parents have chosen our setting as we are able to demonstrate our commitment to help keep children safe.”

As well as parents, Millie’s Mark has impressed Ofsted inspectors with HeadStart Day Nursery in Horsham seeing a business benefit after being awarded Millie’s Mark. In the nursery’s recent Ofsted inspection, it received an ‘outstanding’ grade, with the inspector reporting: “Children’s wellbeing is given the highest priority. For example, the setting achieved Millie’s Mark to show they exceed minimum requirements in keeping children safe.”

Sallyanne Kasey, nursery manager at HeadStart Day Nursery said: “The Millie’s Mark process highlighted to us the importance of staggering staff first aid training, ensuring we are up-to-date with current best practice.

“We are very proud to be one of the first nurseries to receive this award and would encourage other settings to take part and promote the importance of safety within nurseries.”

While 85 nurseries have achieved Millie's Mark, over 11,000 nurseries in England are currently without the accreditation. However some nurseries have expressed an interest in seizing the opportunity to attain the voluntary accreditation.

Millie's parents: 'We expect they will be cared for'

Millie’s Mark is named after Millie Thompson, who choked to death on food at a nursery in 2012 when she was nine months-old. Millie’s parents Dan and Joanne Thompson, founded Millie’s Trust in 2012 and campaigned for changes to first aid requirements for childcare providers until Millie's Mark accredittation was launched in 2016.

“Millie’s Mark is our gorgeous daughter’s legacy and to see the development of a voluntary scheme mark introduced into nurseries is an achievement not just for us but for parents everywhere.

“We put our children into the hands of nurseries and we expect they will be cared for in the best possible way. A nursery achieving Millie’s Mark is an exceptional achievement for not only the nursery but for the children and the parents too.

“The achievement of the mark acknowledges that staff would be confident in maybe one day saving a child’s life if they needed to. Confidence is a key factor in the administration of first aid and Millie’s Mark allows nurseries to feel confident in their own team.

“Our journey towards this mark has been tough, hard work, and there have been many tears shed, but we are so amazingly proud that this mark is now established and we will soon see the logo appearing in nurseries throughout England.” Millie’s Mark is being delivered in England by the National Day Nurseries Association, the national charity representing children’s nurseries in the UK, on behalf of the Department for Education.

Millie’s Trust is also keen to get the accreditation rolled out in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

For details of how a nursery can achieve the Millie’s Mark, visit


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