The Elms and The Oaks nurseries are celebrating another exceptional achievement in providing quality care for children: Millie’s Mark.


Millie’s Mark is England’s gold standard in paediatric health care. Inspired by the loss of their daughter Millie, who died after choking at nursery when she was only nine months old, parents Dan and Joanne Thompson have successfully campaigned for the development of a voluntary scheme mark for nurseries.

To achieve the mark, every member of nursery staff must undertake accredited Paediatric First Aid training – not only Nursery Practitioners but everyone from administrative to kitchen staff. This training gives them the skills and confidence to keep children safe, minimise risk and accidents, and respond quickly and effectively in emergencies. Both nurseries also had to undertake a rigorous audit of past practice and a pre-award assessment before the submission of final portfolios.

Delivered by the National Day Nurseries Association and supported by the Department for Education, Millie’s Mark gives parents and carers full confidence in every member of staff caring for their child.

We’re extremely proud of what both nurseries have achieved.
Kelly Fisher-Beasley, Early Years Advisor

To celebrate this outstanding achievement, both nurseries unveiled a plaque which bears the mark, letting everyone know they can trust in the care they provide. Joining staff, parents and special guests at the unveilings was ‘Millie’, the mark’s mascot. The children were tickled to meet a bright pink giraffe!

I’m thrilled to be here, because my boys both attended the university nurseries.
Councillor Karen McCarthy, District Chair for Selly Oak

Stuart Richards, Director of Hospitality and Accommodation Services for the University of Birmingham, spoke movingly of the sad origins of the mark, noting that Dan and Joanne have ‘led the way in driving up the quality of First Aid in day nurseries.’

To staff, he said, ‘The plaques we’re unveiling today speak of your commitment to the outstanding quality of care and support you aim to deliver to each and every child, each and every day. You should be proud of this award.’

Millie’s Mark joins the Forest Schools, Healthy Setting award, Startwell award level 3, and Sensory Rooms in both nurseries as yet more evidence of excellence at The Elms and The Oaks.