First aid advice for schools and childcare settings

Choosing a first aid course (Education and Childcare)

Ultimately, the responsibility for selecting an appropriate first aid course rests with the employer or business owner. This can be a daunting prospect if you are new to first aid or running a business with complex or varied roles.

The following information has been developed to help the decision process for schools and childcare settings in Wales. Settings should also check local policies and with governing authorities for advice.

Assessing first aid requirements

A first aid needs assessment should be undertaken, to consider the following points,

  • Is the work environment particularly hazardous? For example, is it an office environment with low hazards or an industrial site which may be classed as more hazardous? Will you need first aid cover for children? Have you considered the public?
    • What is the size of the business?
    • Is there a history of accidents within the business?
    • Do employees work shifts which may require first aid cover outside of 9am to 5pm?
    • Are there multiple locations and are any of them in remote locations?
    • How experienced is the workforce? For example, are there many new starters or inductees?

The Health and Safety Executive has a useful guide which can be found at the following web page


Small to medium schools should consider first aid cover for adults ensuring there is at least one person on-site at all times who is trained in Emergency First Aid at Work. Larger schools, or those with an increased likelihood of accidents or first aid support needs, should also consider having at least one person trained on the three-day First Aid at Work course.

Some schools also provide training in Basic Life Support for other staff to have knowledge of basic first aid techniques. This may include techniques for aiding children, such as the 4 hour First Aid for Schools course.

Where additional services are provided at the school, such as wrap-around care and after school clubs, a recognised paediatric first aid qualification may also be required. (See Childcare).


Childcare settings, including childminding services, are required to train staff in paediatric first aid. These courses are delivered over a minimum of 12 hours (usually two days), such as the Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid and cover a wide range of first aid emergencies that affect infants and children.  Consideration should also be made for first aid cover for the staff at the setting, such as training in Emergency First Aid at Work.

Shorter paediatric courses are available which may be suitable for ancillary staff and volunteers in childcare settings.