Quantity over Quality? Not all CPR classes are the same.

As a former daycare provider, I know a daycare center prides itself on how many teachers they can say are CPR and First Aid certified. When a potential parent is touring and the director can say that a large percentage of the staff is certified…well, how much better can it get?

I was certified for several years and I thank God I never needed to employ either skill.  Why? I would not have had a clue where to begin.  Our certification consisted of the following: CPR dummies were slapped down in front of each of the 20 ladies and the instructor told us to imitate him. Most people chatted and giggled throughout the brief rundown and then certification cards were passed out.  It terrifies me to look back and realize that in an emergency situation most of us would have been extremely unprepared. What’s worse, is that a majority of these women had their own children enrolled at the center.

In May of 2011, a law was passed in Minnesota adding stricter requirements for CPR certified teachers and childcare providers after a 4 year old girl choked on grape and died because there was no one around to perform CPR. While this is a wonderful step in the right direction, it is now the responsibility of these centers to choose reputable classes and make their staff understand the importance of what they are doing. They need to realize that these classes are not just to satisfy mandates of this new law, but instead help children celebrate many more birthdays and keep horrible accidents from haunting both the parents and childcare providers.

Parents are trusting us with their most precious possession. It is both an honor and responsibility that must be taken seriously. When you say you are certified, they are trusting that you will know what to do in an emergency.  We cannot just sit around with our fingers crossed, hoping nothing will go wrong.  Daycare providers, nannies, teachers, as well as individuals need to realize the significance of attending a quality CPR and first aid class. Being certified is more than just wielding a card, it is about the knowledge and ability to potentially save a life.


Felicia Quinones