Paediatric first aid requirements and the early years inspection: Everything you need to know

Child not feeling well in a nursery
Alice Squires
Publish Date:
02 Feb 2023
Reading Time:
5 Mins

Ofsted inspections cover a range of areas including quality of teaching, pupil behaviour and opportunities for personal development - with child safety and first aid support playing key roles.

In this blog, we hope to offer some guidance on how to comply with Ofsted’s paediatric first aid requirements, and provide a safe environment for your children to thrive. With our assistance, you’ll have the answer to the key question - “what do Ofsted look for in a nursery or other childcare environment?”


The EYFS statutory framework and Ofsted

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework was first published in 2014 and was last updated in September 2021.

The EYFS framework requires all providers on the Early Years Register (nurseries, childminders, pre-schools, and Reception-year pupils) to meet a certain set of standards.

Ofsted will measure how well you’re following these requirements when they carry out an early years inspection.

These requirements include:

  • At least one person who has a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present, and must accompany children on outings.
  • Childminders, and any assistant who might be in charge of the children, alone, for any period of time, must hold a current paediatric first aid certificate.
  • Paediatric first aid training must be relevant for workers caring for young children and babies.
  • Providers should take into account the number of children, staff, and layout of premises to ensure that a paediatric first-aider is able to respond to emergencies quickly.


Certification renewal

Keeping up-to-date records of certificates and medication policies is essential, as these records will also likely be reviewed in your early years inspection.

EYFS also recommends annual refresher training to maintain your (or your team’s) paediatric first aid skills. If your certificate expires after the three year timeframe, and it hasn’t been renewed, you’ll no longer be legally recognised as a qualified first aider.


First Aid

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What paediatric first aid qualifications are Ofsted looking for?

The EYFS asks that all newly qualified staff with a childcare level 2 and 3 qualification complete Paediatric first aid training and earn either a Paediatric First Aid (PFA) certificate or Emergency Paediatric First Aid certificate.

School trips and outings require the presence of one team member with full PFA certification.

Once you or your staff have obtained paediatric first aid course certificates, display them proudly, or keep them close by, so they’re on hand when your Ofsted inspector can record them as evidence of your compliance with the EYFS statutory framework.


When will my nursery be inspected by Ofsted?

Nurseries, schools and other teaching facilities shouldn’t understate the role of Ofsted in the childcare setting, as their inspections benefit you and your team. Their inspectors’ feedback ensures you offer the safest possible hands, and the correct equipment and skills in the event of an emergency.

Gill Jones, Deputy Director of Ofsted, at 2021’s Nursery World Business Summit explained:  “[Ofsted] usually like to give providers that are totally unknown to us a very early inspection, within a window of the first year”.

For childcare providers Ofsted are more familiar with, inspections can take place as far away as 36 months. These audits are usually totally random and infrequent, so ensuring you’re always ready for inspection and remaining compliant is, we think, the best course of action.


Find out everything you need to know about Paediatric first aid training courses; your responsibilities what course are available to childcare provides, and more.

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