Early Years: DfE Non statutory guidance for EY settings RE: First Aid

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Feb 28 2022

Early years


Early years education providers, including schools, must meet the paediatric first aid requirements set out in the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (EYFS). This includes arrangements for off-site activities involving young children such as educational visits.

The EYFS requires that at least one person who has a current paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate should be on the premises and available at all times when children are present and should accompany children on outings. The certificate must be for a full course consistent with the criteria set out in annex A in the EYFS.

All staff who obtained a level 2 or level 3 qualification on or after 30 June 2016 must also have either a full PFA or an emergency PFA certificate within 3 months of starting work in order to be included in the required staff to child ratios at level 2 or level 3 in an early years setting.

Childminders, and any assistant who might be in sole charge of the children for any period, should hold a current paediatric first aid certificate.

Paediatric first aid training must be renewed every 3 years and should be relevant for workers caring for young children and where relevant, babies. Employers should take into account, via their first aid needs assessment, the number of children, staff and layout of premises to ensure that a paediatric first aider is able to respond to emergencies quickly.


Employers are responsible for identifying and selecting a competent training provider to deliver their PFA training.

Training is available from a wide range of providers including:

  • those who offer regulated qualifications
  • voluntary aid societies (St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid, who together are acknowledged by HSE as one of the standard-setters for currently accepted first aid practice for first aid at work training courses)
  • those who operate under voluntary accreditation schemes
  • one that is a member of a trade body with an approval and monitoring scheme
  • those who operate independently of any such accreditation scheme

The register of regulated qualifications may help providers to identify paediatric first aid providers. It may also be helpful to refer to HSE’s guidance about choosing a first aid training provider.


Providers should ensure there is always a first aid box accessible with appropriate content for use with children.

Recording and reporting

In addition to any statutory reporting requirements employers should keep a written record of accidents or injuries and first aid treatment. Employers should inform parents or carers of any accident or injury sustained by the child on the same day, or as soon as reasonably practicable, of any first aid treatment given.

Registered providers should notify Ofsted or the childminder agency with which they are registered of any serious accident, illness or injury to, or death of, any child while in their care, and of the action taken. Notification should be made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but in any event within 14 days of the incident occurring. A registered provider, who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with this requirement, commits an offence.

Employers should notify local child protection agencies of any serious accident or injury to, or the death of, any child while in their care, and should act on any advice from those agencies

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