If only it were so easy. To balance this korero, we’d like to point out:
As the largest membership body in the sector, we do take issue with the approach taken by the Ministry. If the goal is preventing children choking, we feel this approach is unworkable.
We applaud the Ministry’s intent and have always sympathised with the events that led us here, but this change falls short of giving parents the assurance they deserve.
We have proposed to the Ministry and the Minister that treating the risk of children choking – on anything - as a health and safety issue is far more workable and appropriate.
All services should include choking in their Hazard and Risk Management Plan and should have identified a range of ways they’ll monitor and manage the risk. And all staff that engage with children should be appropriately first-aid trained.
We have also invited centres to write to Minister Hipkins to express their frustration over this change. Unfortunately, the Minister has chosen to send a template latter to all those who contact him, suggesting he doesn’t take their concerns seriously. WE have invited concerned services to encourage their parents to write to the Minister in the hope that hearing from parents might influence this dopey decision.
We want steps to minimise the risk of children choking that work, not this piecemeal approach.
We sincerely hope the ongoing engagement on this issue will get us closer to a workable solution for everyone.