First aid guidance for childcare providers

It is important that childcare provision is safe. Providers must have measures in place to prevent and minimise injuries to children and take precautions to avoid infection.

First aid guidance for childcare providers in LiverpoolRegulations for the Childcare Register require the childminder or home child carer to have a first aid qualification; and for the registered person for childcare on domestic or non-domestic premises to ensure that at least one person caring for children on the premises has a first aid qualification.

The qualification must be appropriate to the ages of the children for whom childcare is provided and to the nature of the provision.

First aid provision must be available at all times that children are cared for either on the childcare premises or off the premises on visits and outings.

The registered provider is responsible for ensuring these requirements are met.

First aid guidance for childcare providers – Registered Childminders are childcare professionals working in their own homes to provide care and education for other people’s children in a family setting. They have to be inspected and registered by Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education) in England, the SCC in Scotland (Scottish Commission for the regulation of Care in Scotland), the CSSIW in Wales (Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales), or the HSE (Health Services Executive) in Ireland.

First aid guidance for childcare providers – Question and Answers

What are the requirements?

1. For a person registering as a childminder or home child carer the regulations require that:

‘The applicant has a first aid qualification which is appropriate to the ages of the children for whom childminding is provided and to the nature of the provision.’

2. For a person registering a childcare provider the regulations require that:

‘At least one person caring for children on the premises on which childcare is being provided has a first aid qualification which is appropriate to the ages of the children for whom childcare is provided and to the nature of the provision.’ 

Who needs to have a certificate?

3. If the applicant is registering as a childminder or home child carer then they must have a first aid certificate.

4. For childcare providers the registered person does not necessarily have to have a first aid certificate. However, they must ensure that at least one person who is engaged in caring for the children has a first aid qualification and is on the premises at all times while childcare is being delivered and is present on any visits. For some providers this is likely to mean having several members of staff trained. It is good practice to consider the following in relation to people selected to be first aiders:

  • Reliability and communication skills
  • Aptitude and ability to absorb new knowledge and learn new skills
  • And the ability to cope with stressful and physically demanding emergency procedures

How often does the certificate need to be renewed?

5. People must renew their first aid certificate every three years after the date the training was completed. Child carers may wish to make sure relevant people undertake refresher courses annually. By the time a certificate expires, the individual will have to undertake another full course of training to become a first aider. Child carers should keep a record of first aiders and certification dates.

How long should a course take?

6. There is no set minimum length of time for a first aid course for the voluntary part of the Childcare Register. Many standard courses take 12 hours to complete. It may be possible for child carers to undertake an intensive course in less than 12 hours. However, the child carer must ensure that the course covers all of the criteria specified below and that they receive adequate practical training. The outcomes of the course should be that the child carer can demonstrate independently how they would handle each of the conditions specified below.

Meeting Ofsted requirements as a childminder

7. People who are renewing their certificate after three years may feel that a shorter course will suffice. However, they should ensure that it still covers all of the criteria specified and provides sufficient practical training to refresh skills and learn any new techniques.

What is a sufficient level of practical training?

8. First aid courses should offer child carers the opportunity to practice practical techniques – for example resuscitation – until they feel comfortable performing all of the techniques independently.

What is an appropriate first aid certificate?

9. Providers must determine whether their first aid training is appropriate based on the type of care they provide. An ‘appropriate’ first aid certificate will depend on the type of provision being offered.

For example, what is appropriate for a nanny caring for young children may be different to an activity-based provider caring for older children. As a minimum, a certificate should meet the criteria set out below. Providers need to consider whether it would be appropriate to have additional training.

10. Childcare that features certain activities or that provides for children with disabilities may need to have people with specific first aid training. Providers are responsible for determining whether specific additional first aid training is needed. Providers may want to contact their relevant professional bodies for advice on what they recommend.

First aid guidance for childcare providers – Who needs paediatric and who needs adult first aid certificates?

11. The need for a paediatric or an adult first aid certificate will depend upon the ages of the children for whom care is provided. Child carers who care for children who have not yet reached puberty should have a paediatric first aid certificate. Child carers who care for children who have reached puberty should have an adult first aid certificate. Child carers who care for a wide age range of children may need to have both adult and paediatric training.

How do I know which certificates will be accepted for registration?

12. Ofsted will accept any certificate which meets the minimum criteria below for registration. However as set out above providers are responsible for determining whether specific additional first aid training is needed.

How will Ofsted inspect first aid certificates?

13. Providers are responsible for demonstrating to Ofsted that they have met all of the registration requirements. As part of an application, applicants must declare that they have met the first aid requirements and provide us with a copy of the certificate. For childminders this must be their own certificate.

For other providers this may be the certificate of a member of staff who will be responsible for first aid.

14. When Ofsted visit the childcare provider to check that the requirements are being met the inspector they expect to see the first aid certificates of the relevant member(s) of staff (those who are caring for children and have first aid certificate(s) at that point). They may also request further details of the course content or evidence that it is local authority, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) approved.

What additional first aid equipment and materials are required?

15. Providers must have available the proper materials and equipment which should be clearly labelled, secured away from children and easily accessible to the first aider. Additional first aid equipment may be needed for sports activities or high risk activities.

16. There is no mandatory list of items for a first aid box. However the Health and Safety Executive website provides some helpful guidance on the minimum provision of first-aid items (where there is no special risk identified).

Criteria for an appropriate first aid certificate

  • Generalist first aid certificates that are the normal requirements for employers, although required in work settings, are not sufficient for working with children and babies.
  • For settings that provide care to children who have not reached puberty child carers should have a paediatric first aid certificate.
  • For settings that provide care to children who have reached puberty child carers should have an adult first aid certificate.
  • The certificate should be appropriate to the nature of the childcare being provided. (For example, particular types of activities may need specific additional first aid training.)
  • Training should be designed for workers caring for children in the absence of their parents.
  • The certificate must be renewed every three years after the date the training was completed.
  • All training should be either approved by a local authority, the HSE or QCA, or provided by a reputable body.
  • The training must include sufficient practical training.
  • Resuscitation and other equipment should include baby, and junior models as appropriate.
  • Training should cover appropriate contents of first aid kit.
  • Training should include recording accidents and incidents.

The course should include learning outcomes covering the following areas:

  • Planning for first aid emergencies
  • Dealing with emergencies
  • Resuscitating
  • Recognising and dealing with shock
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to anaphylactic shock
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to electric shock
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to bleeding
  • Responding appropriately to burns and scalds
  • Responding appropriately to choking
  • Responding appropriately to suspected fractures
  • Responding appropriately to head, neck and back injuries
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to cases of poisoning
  • Responding appropriately to foreign bodies in eyes, ears and noses
  • Responding appropriately to eye injuries
  • Responding appropriately to bites and stings
  • Responding appropriately to effects of extreme heat and cold
  • Responding appropriately to febrile convulsions
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to the emergency needs of chronic medical conditions including: epilepsy, asthma, sickle cell, diabetes
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to meningitis and other serious sudden illness.

For more information on first aid guidance for childcare providers and paediatric first aid training offered by Liverpool Training Solutions please follow the links below to our course content for Paediatric First Aid training:

Further reading and guidance for childcare providers can be found on the OFSTED website section The Early Years and Childcare Registers

First aid guidance for childcare providers
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