THE Scottish Government’s minister for children and young people visited a Haddington nursery to celebrate it becoming the first in the country to achieve an award for children’s first aid.

Maree Todd MSP visited Pear Tree Nursery on Meadowpark last Thursday with Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), to toast Millie’s Mark.

The award, developed in conjunction with NDNA, aims to keep children as safe as possible in nursery, through promoting staff training, policies and procedures well above national standards.

Millie’s Trust was set up by Stockport couple Dan and Joanne Thompson following the death of their daughter Millie, who choked on food in a nursery. They believed that everyone should have access to first aid training, with the award so far having been presented to 500 nurseries south of the Border.

Ms Todd said: “The Scottish Government is committed to continual training opportunities for early learning and childcare workers, and Millie’s Mark provides a great opportunity to upskill staff to be able to do their best for children in their care in an emergency.

“Nurseries that have signed up to Millie’s Mark will be able to tell parents that they are trained to a high standard in first aid for babies and toddlers, and I’m very pleased that staff have already undertaken these additional training opportunities where they are available.”

Ms Tanuku also offered her congratulations to the nursery, whose branch on West Road has now achieved the same award.

She said: “We are thrilled that Millie’s Mark has been well received across Scotland and are very proud of the staff of Pear Tree nurseries for their hard work and dedication.

“As well as becoming the first nursery to receive Millie’s Mark in Scotland, the group now has three nurseries which have been accredited. More nurseries are working towards the award, which we hope will become the standard for all childcare providers.”

Gillian Harvey, manager of Pear Tree Nursery, was delighted to achieve the award.

She said: “Our children are out in the community and on our forest site often, so we reviewed first aid not only within the building but in different locations.

“Through Millie’s Mark audit we were able to gauge staff confidence in different first aid areas and work together to improve everybody’s confidence.

“Our whole team are involved, including lunch cover, supply staff, office staff, chef and all our practitioners. This gives all children, staff and parents extra reassurance that their children are safe and well cared for.”