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NEWS: PACEY seeking further clarification over confusing government messaging

PACEY has received thousands of messages and questions from childminders in England about whether they should be re-opening tomorrow or 1 June 2020. 

Guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) remains clear that we are working towards an opening date of the 1 June 2020 however, we are again seeking clarification from DfE this morning as we know there is huge confusion among the sector in England. 

PACEY Chief Executive Liz Bayram has issued a statement. 

“We recognise that some media reporting of the plan to end lockdown as well as some of the different messages in the government’s own plan has led to confusion for registered providers, especially childminders who work from home, that they may reopen this week and not have to wait until 1 June. We are clarifying this again with the DFE this morning but until they say differently, their guidance remains clear that registered childcare including childminding should be working towards a reopen date of 1 June. And that the decision to reopen registered childcare as well as schools will only be confirmed on 28 May, once there’s scientific evidence the virus infection rate is under control. Until then registered settings can only open to key workers and vulnerable children.  

“We know how important it is for many settings to open as soon as possible, that livelihoods are at stake, as well as those who are worried about opening too soon. This all has to be balanced alongside government action to try to avoid a second wave of infection. As always all registered providers should follow government guidance to ensure they are covered by their insurance and to avoid the risk of potentially having to close again if, on 28 May the scientific evidence indicates it is too risky to open registered childcare settings and schools on 1 June. 

“Alongside this it will also be important to show parents that registered providers are taking the necessary steps to minimise any risk of COVID-19 to the children in their care as well as their staff. Advice on how best to do so is being developed by DFE in the form of a new handbook that it is being developed in partnership with PACEY and other sector bodies. The feedback we have had from 1000s of members and the webinar we held last night will be used to inform this and the other information, advice and support we provide to our members and the wider sector. So please bear with us while we seek further clarification for you today.”