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Daycares want funding for CPR training

Emily Ridlington
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 14, 2011


The Department of Education expects daycare staff to have up-to-date First Aid and CPR training but the department won't pay to sponsor the training, leaving daycares to look for alternate funding sources themselves.

"Unfortunately we do not have funding for that because most of the daycares are considered as small businesses," said Leslie Leafloor, manager of early childhood development, Department of Education.

Day cares will have to tap other sources such as hamlets, The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission and St. John's Ambulance, for funding.

Not having the money to offer the training does not mean the department under values daycare staff having the training.

"Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye especially with young children, so you want to make sure that anyone working with those children have the basic first aid and CPR aid knowledge," she said, adding it might make the difference between life and death. No matter the cost and who will pay for the training, the fact that daycare staff could save the life of a child is the most important thing, Leafloor said.

"These are the children that cannot accurately verbalize what is wrong with them and staff need to know the warning signs so they can act on it appropriately."

Daycares in Iqaluit have banded together and have reached out to the city's Niksiit Committee for $15,040 to provide training.

At a city council meeting on Jan. 11, councillors unanimously approved a decision to give the daycares the funds they had left over from the Brighter Futures program run by Health Canada.

The cost for four courses each with 18 people in them comes up to $14,040 - covering rentals, fees and training materials. The extra $1,000 would be used to purchase first aid kits. Outside of the capital, daycare staff take the training when it is available in their community.

"All three of our staff have it and we did it two years ago," said Ruth Mary Lyta, manager of Kimmirut Pairivik in Kimmirut.

At the Attagoyuk Ilisavik Day Care in Pangnirtung, some staff have been trained and another staff person rotates in as a substitute.

"It's important and we would like to get training updated but can only do it when it's available," said Jenny Nakashuk, the daycare's office manager.

Daycares interested in getting training can apply through St. John's Ambulance to the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission.

"We certainly are available to put training on anytime, anywhere, and it usually runs into a case of whether it's cost-effective," said Brent Fowler, regional operations manager at the St. John's Ambulance office in Yellowknife for the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

He said when a first aid course is run in a community, they are usually brought in by the hamlet or the economic development office with staff from various organizations such as schools, health centre and businesses taking the course.

Most recently, instructors visited Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq to offer a community-wide course late in 2009 and early in 2010.

Fowler said a person should get their First Aid and CPR training updated "no less than every three years."

He said a big difference when administering CPR to an infant is that you only use two fingers when doing chest compressions and not two hands as used on an adult.

It is up to the Department of Education's early childhood officers to do annual inspections of daycares to make sure employees have the training.

If parents or guardians are wondering if their child's daycare staff has up-to-date First Aid training, Leafloor suggests they ask the daycare's manager or director.

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