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  • Writer's picturePaul Kenny

Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications. Updated 24 April 2020

Our online training course in Paediatric First Aid meets these requirements if you are an existing student who has completed our FAW or EPFA course in the last three years and needs to during this COVID crises up-skill due to no PFA staff availability. Training will only be valid during the crises. After restrictions are removed students will just need to attend a 1 day practical session to hold full PFA status. Email for more details.

6.2 Paediatric First Aid

The changes: The requirement for at least one person who has a full paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate to be on the premises at all times when children are present remains in place where there are children below the age of 24 months. Paragraph 3.25 and Annex A of the EYFS set out more detail. However, if children are aged 2-5 within a setting, providers must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure one person with a full PFA certificate is on-site when children are present. If after using best endeavours they are still unable to secure a member of staff with full PFA to be on site then they must carry out a written risk assessment and ensure that someone with a current First Aid at Work or emergency PFA certification is on site at all times children are on premises.

‘Best endeavours’ means to identify and take all the steps possible within your power, which could, if successful, ensure there is a paediatric first aider on site when a setting is open, as per the usual EYFS requirement on PFA.

Please note this does not apply for childminders as they must already have a full PFA certificate.

New entrants (levels 2 and 3) will not need to hold a Paediatric First Aid (PFA) certificate within their first 3 months in order to be counted in staff: child ratios, during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Additionally, if PFA certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with COVID-19, or by complying with related government advice, the validity of current certificates can be extended by up to 3 months. This applies to certificates expiring on or after 16 March 2020.

Providers remain responsible for ensuring all children in their care are kept safe at all times.

What this means in practice:

For providers with children below the age of 24 months in their care, the requirements around PFA remain the same as in the current EYFS framework, with the exception that during the COVID-19 outbreak new entrants do not need to have a PFA certificate to be counted in ratios. This is in recognition of the greater risk factors for babies and young children in this age bracket, including choking risks and different cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) procedures for those aged 0-1 as set out by the NHS.

For providers who have children aged 2-5 in their care they must use ‘best endeavours’ to have one person with full PFA, as set out in the EYFS, onsite. By best endeavours we mean providers must be able to demonstrate they have identified and taken all the steps possible to appoint a suitable person. This should include liaising with their local authority to find a suitable person, this could include identifying and looking to appoint:

  • a person with a PFA certificate and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check from a local provider who has closed; or

  • a registered local childminder with a PFA certificate and DBS check who is approved to work on non-domestic premises

Looking to secure full PFA training for staff that includes the specific risk factors and techniques required for the care of young children including but not limited to choking, seizures, and issues related to sleeping. Annex A of the EYFS statutory framework sets out the criteria for effective PFA training.

After these actions have been carried out and if it is still not possible for someone with a full PFA certificate to be on site at all times children are present, providers must undertake the following actions in order to remain open:

  • Carry out a written risk assessment to consider and mitigate the likely occurrence of a serious incident.

  • Ensure at least one person with a current First Aid at Work or emergency PFA certification is on site at all times children are on premises and must accompany children on outings. Paragraph 3.65 in the EYFS continues to apply and outings should only be undertaken if it is safe to do so. Providers must take account of any Govt advice in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The written risk assessment should take into account all relevant factors with the aim of enabling the setting to ensure they can provide the safe care needed by children of critical workers and vulnerable children during COVID-19 outbreak, including:

  • The number of children on the premises

  • The staff to child ratios

  • The types of activities undertaken with the children on the premises

  • The likely need for first aid based on the needs of the children attending the premises

  • First aider knowledge among staff on the premises: and

  • The mitigations available to reduce the risk of such an incident

Providers will need to keep the written risk assessment available in the setting throughout the COVID-19 breakout. This does not need to be sent anywhere but must be available on request.

Providers could help members of staff who have a First Aid at Work or emergency PFA certificate to help bridge the gap between their current qualification and full PFA by looking to secure online training to cover elements required for the care of young children.

As set out in HSE guidance, any training in relation to paediatric CPR and choking should be in line with the Resuscitation Council’s guidance and NHS England guidance.

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