Childcare scheme first in country to be awarded Millie’s Mark

To celebrate their award, children from Holiday Childcare Scheme show their drawings of Millie the giraffe. Pic:  Tower Hamlets Holiday Childcare Scheme

Tower Hamlet’s Holiday Childcare Scheme has become the first in the country to be recognised for its commitment to first aid.  The scheme has been awarded a ‘Millie’s Mark’- a national recognition that shows ‘above and beyond’ commitment for children’s first aid.

Selina Tamana, the team manager, told East London Lines: “We are proud to have achieved this award which supports and recognises the hard work from all of the team and our dedication to ensure first aid remains a priority for all. The Holiday Childcare team work incredibly hard to ensure the safety of children is paramount in every scheme delivered. There are currently 55 sessional holiday childcare workers who are all First Aid trained.”

The National Day Nursery Association awards Millie’s Mark in conjunction with the Department of Education and Millie’s Trust. To be awarded Millie’s Mark, every member of staff is required to have been trained in first aid, specifically designed for babies and young children. The courses cover training from how to helping an infant who has a bite or sting to helping a child who is unresponsive. 

Millie’s Mark is named after Millie Thompson who died at the age of nine months in 2012 after chocking on food at her nursery. Since the accident, Millie’s parents have campaigned for all childcare provider staff to be paediatric first aid trained. This mark is above the statutory requirement currently in place where only one member of staff needs to be trained.

Every member of staff must be first aid trained to achieve the mark. Pic: BBC Creative

Tamana said: “The Holiday Childcare team recognises the importance of safety. By training all our sessional staff helps not only the children that attend our provision but the other settings and schools that all of our sessional staff work within and therefore, benefitting more children’s health.”

Millie’s parents, Dan and Joanne Thompson said in a statement released by Tower Hamlets Council: “As Millie’s parents, we’re delighted to see the first holiday club in the UK with an early years’ get a Millie’s Mark. We’re happy to see it moving into new areas of childcare and would encourage all childcare venues to follow their example and aim for the award.”

Tamana said: “This has been a journey and it has taken several years to be able to showcase this achievement. We have committed to delivering training from evenings to weekends, and throughout the pandemic the training has been adapted to be delivered in a safe space.” 

Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive of the National Day Nursery Association, said: “Becoming a Millie’s Mark’s nursery is a clear indicator for parents that this nursery has met the highest standards and gives them the reassurance that their children are safe.”

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