1st July and still no sign of our EYFS 2016 that will be in force from September 2016. It seems in this electronic world the Government expect us to be able to react to things at the drop of a hat – and it very much feels like that much of the time. We are so good at being reactive in Early Years I feel. However, just how much time do we need to plan and prepare for change? Today it has been announced, in the response to the Paediatric First Aid consultation – remember that one, it was at the end of last year – that the new rules will be in force from September 2016 and that this will be included in the new 2016 EYFS, which no-one has seen yet. Whilst this will apply to all newly qualified staff members one can only hope they don’t necessarily mean the ones who have just qualified! If so, then we all need to get a move on if we have new staff starting.
Whilst, like many of our customers, we train all of our staff in the full Paediatric First Aid (PFA) the new regulation only makes it mandatory for newly qualified staff to have the emergency (currently 6 hour) PFA course. This will then allow them to be counted in the staff: child ratios in either their level 2 or level 3 capacity, as it will apply to all full and relevant qualifications at these levels. There will however be a three month ‘grace’ period, from starting work with a new employer, for training to be completed. Despite a call from some for this to be included within the qualifications themselves, this will not happen.
However, there will be exceptions, on equal opportunity grounds, for staff with a disability. This will allow them to be included in the staff: child ratios without a PFA or emergency PFA certificate when it is not possible for them to undertake a first aid course. The consultation highlighted this as a controversial area and some responses were clearly against this decision.
So what might the impact of all this be? Well we will have to wait to see the full wording but there has been a call from training providers that the EYFS 2016 should clarify the options available to providers as to sourcing training, so be ready for the onslaught of Emergency PFA emails when this is published! I would hope that the rule of at least one PFA remains and is indeed strengthened, although they seem to be relying on Millies Mark to achieve this. For people who choose the Emergency PFA route then some course content might be changed based on recommendations from the First Aid at Work Quality Partnership and will concentrate on specific life threatening conditions such as:
- To be able to assess an emergency situation and prioritise what action to take
- Help a baby or child who is unresponsive and breathing normally
- Help a baby or child who is unresponsive and not breathing normally
- Help a baby or child who is having a seizure
- Help a baby or child who is choking
- Help a baby or child who is bleeding
- Help a baby or child who is suffering from shock
If we then link this into the First Aid at Work requirements, then this course would obviously not be allowable through your risk assessment process as being suitable. However, where a full PFA course includes a relevant amount of adult first aid then this is usually applied as a risk acceptable course rather than having to do the full first aid at work. My argument would be to retain your full PFA qualifications as it ticks more than one box. Check out our course content to see if it meets your requirements. Providers are also going to be ‘encouraged’ to display either certificates or a list of staff with PFA or emergency PFA training.
You can register your interest in obtaining Millie’s Mark through the NDNA website, it looks set to require a 6 monthly audit of all staff certificates, with a no tolerance approach!
All of this got us thinking. What would you find useful in your settings in order to display each of your staff’s first aid status and how would you go about tracking all staff members in a quick and easy way so you can ensure they don’t slip through the net (especially important if their ‘ratio’ status changed!).
So please will you take our quick poll as to what you would find helpful:
First Aid Poll
About the author: Tricia Wellings
Her passion for and knowledge of owning and running a nursery group and the issues within the sector that affect them is second to none. She continues to keep herself updated through regular meetings with PVI groups, Local Authorities, Ofsted Big Conversation and Conferences.
You can find our more about Tricia on her website www.triciawellings.co.uk