What first aid training modules are needed for childcare?
The requirements for childcare workers and early childhood educators are set by the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). When it comes to first aid qualifications, it defines three key requirements for educators and childcare staff.
- An approved first aid qualification
- Approved anaphylaxis management training
- Approved emergency asthma management training
First aid qualifications can come from a list of approved first aid training qualifications. Both anaphylaxis and asthma are covered in most first aid courses, but anaphylaxis and asthma management training is something over and above that. It includes recognising symptoms and correct use of an EpiPen or asthma reliever medication, but ALSO the administrative side of those conditions – including management plans.
Who needs to have them?
When it comes to Child Care centres, ACECQA applies some of the strictest conditions of all. For a centre-based service, the requirement is that staff members with training in those areas must be available in each room or area at all times – so you always need someone with the appropriate training handy.
The restrictions on family daycare educators are even more prescriptive – each and every educator at a family daycare centre must be trained in all three areas – first aid, anaphylaxis management and emergency asthma management. This means if you’re looking to work in the childcare sector – particularly within family daycare – you’ll want to be getting accredited in all three areas.
What courses fit that bill?
There are many different courses on the market. As such, it’s natural to wonder if the course you’re looking at is properly accredited and also whether it addresses the areas of training you need covered.
For first aid training, the main standards are set by the National Register on Vocational Education and Training in Australia (more commonly known as training.gov.au). This body outlines a large number of training modules, defining what students need to learn (and demonstrate) to be accredited in that area – setting the standard for vocational training in Australia. When you’re dealing with any Australian registered training organisation that offers one of these training modules (generally marked with codes such as HLTAID009 or UETDRRF004), you know it matches that standard.
When it comes to first aid training, the two most relevant training standards are HLTAID011 Provide First Aid, and HLTAID012 Provide First Aid in an education and care setting.
HLTAID011 Provide First Aid is one of the most popular first aid training modules around – it’s effectively the standard for most workplace first aid training. HLTAID011 is a one-day training course (about 6 hours total), covering a broad spectrum of some of the most common first aid issues. This includes everything from minor cuts and burns right through to CPR and using an automated defibrillator (AED). It encompasses two other complete training modules as part of the course – HLTAID010 Provide basic emergency life support (also known as BELS), and HLTAID009 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
HLTAID011 Provide First Aid completely fulfils the first aid specific training requirement for childcare workers, but not the anaphylaxis and asthma management requirements. Although both are covered, it’s not in enough detail for an early childhood role – HLTAID011 covers responding to anaphylactic reaction or asthma attack, but not broader management of the conditions.
If you’re currently certified in HLTAID011, you CAN do additional training in those areas to be fully up-to-standard in first aid for child care.
Realistically, if you’re looking at working in childcare, HLTAID012 Provide First Aid in an education and care setting is the option you want. It’s custom-built to provide teachers, child care workers and early childhood educators with the first aid knowledge and skills they need. The one-day course covers the full content of HLTAID009, HLTAID010, and HLTAID011 (that’s CPR, BELS and Provide First Aid) as well as the additional training needed for working as a teacher/educator. And it’s only an hour or so longer than HLTAID011. It includes the management and planning aspects of anaphylaxis and asthma, as well as some of the administrative aspects of first aid – such as incident reporting.
If you’re looking to work in the childcare sector and don’t yet have first aid certification, HLTAID012 is the no-brainer choice. It provides everything you need for first aid certification in one easy package – precisely what it was designed for!
How often do you need a refresher?
Whether you’ve done HLTAID011 with some supplemental training, or the full HLTAID012 course, most of your certification will be valid for three years after the completion of your training.
The exception to this is your CPR training (HLTAID009). The Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) guidelines recommend that CPR should only be regarded as current for ONE YEAR from the date of training – you need to do a refresher on that topic every year to remain certified. Fortunately, HLTAID009 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation is available as a stand-alone training module, which you can do as a yearly refresher. So you don’t need to re-do an entire one-day course every year to remain current – just a quick 2-hour refresher on a Saturday morning, and you’re good!