Weather Icon 8.4°C Clear
Ashton nursery receive special first aid award
Thursday 19th October 2017 @ 11:59 by Adam Higgins
Ashton News

A nursery in Ashton is celebrating after receiving special recognition for their commitment to paediatric first aid. 

Little Giggles Private Day Nursery and Pre-School have been awarded the ‘Millie’s Mark’ – the ‘Gold Standard’ in paediatric first aid – which concentrates solely on the child and infant age groups.

Millie’s Mark is awarded to nurseries, where all staff members who work with children are qualified in paediatric first aid, by Millie’s Trust.

The charity was formed in 2012 by Joanne and Dan Thompson, whose nine-month-old daughter Millie died after choking on food at her nursery in Stockport. After years of campaigning, they were successful in taking their fight to Westminster as the Government recently changed the laws on first aid for all early years staff to be trained in paediatric first aid.

Jamie-Louise Fitton, Managing Director and Owner of Little Giggles, was thrilled to learn of the special endorsement for the Evans Street centre when the award was announced earlier this week.

She told the Reporter: “It had to go to a panel on Monday and it’s now official on the Millie’s Mark website, so we are absolutely delighted. Paediatric first aid is very important in a nursery setting because the children’s safety is absolutely paramount.

“We have around 300 children in our Ashton and Audenshaw centres alone and taking care of them all is important. We employ an inclusion officer to cater for children who have specific needs and I believe no other nursery in Tameside does that.

“I’ve been a paediatric trained instructor for many years, before Millie’s Mark came to fruition.

“Martha, who is our manager at the Ashton centre, suggested that we applied for the Millie’s Mark status and we are pleased to get it because it shows that we are going above and beyond the minimum requirements in keeping children safe.

“We have four Little Giggles nurseries at the moment and are opening three more. In the coming months, we will be applying for this recognition for all of our settings.”

Millie’s Mark aims to inspire excellence and raise the bar for nursery providers – it’s a status Jamie-Louise feels more nurseries should apply for.

“It was recently raised in Parliament and the laws on first aid were changed due to the campaigning and great work that Millie’s parents do because it must have been deeply upsetting for them,” she explained.

“It’s only awarded to childcare providers that do more than the guidelines set by The Early Years Foundation Stage. This is by having 100 per cent first aid trained staff and ensuring that everything learnt during training is kept alive and in the forefront of the staff’s minds, so they are strong and confident in dealing with first aid.

“It’s important that there’s at least one staff member who is first aid trained and competent in applying it. If you don’t have that, you leave yourself wide open for children suffering harm and, if people don’t know what they’re doing, tragedies like Millie’s can happen.

“This is part of Millie’s legacy that we are extremely proud to be a part of. We have ongoing regular staff training, our staff take part in an online learning course every year and managers do it in team meetings by creating scenarios to see what they would do if something in particular happened.”

The Ashton nursery was recently rated as ‘Outstanding’ by watchdog Ofsted, while Little Giggles has been nominated for the Pride of Tameside Awards on November 2 in three separate categories.

And Jamie-Louise, who is up for the entrepreneur of the year award, said the business is going from strength to strength.

“I started the business seven years ago and since then we’ve acquired around 100 staff and established three more settings in Audenshaw, Edgeley and Great Moor, with three more to come in Stoke, Leigh and Wigan.

“We have good staff with a high level of attention. Martha is quite new, she took over as manager of the Ashton nursery last year, but she is really pro-active in trying to improve what we do and going above and beyond what Ofsted expect. To get the Millie’s Mark recognition really does top it off and our fingers are crossed that we’re successful in the Pride of Tameside Awards.”