PACEY is urgently seeking clarity today from the Department for Education on the implications of the PM’s announcement on early years and childcare settings in England. If people who can’t work from home need to go back to work, then many will need childcare to support them to do so. We are already advising DfE on what childcare settings need to be able to open safely and sustainably when lockdown is over. A phased return was always likely and will be challenging to support. The position in Wales differs and is outlined in our Updates for the sector in Wales.
Liz Bayram, PACEY Chief Executive, commented: "Childcare cannot be simply treated like any other business, nor lumped in with schools. It is critical to our economic recovery and to helping children to catch up. We will be raising these issues again today when we meet the Minister, Vicky Ford. We will today analyse the recovery plan that will be published to Parliament later today, as well as the COVID-safe guidance promised to employers, whenever that is available.
"As soon as we know more we will update our members as well as other childminders, nurseries and pre-schools. Our advice until then is to not make any firm decisions about opening until you have more clarity and, this week, take time to talk to your families about what they need and what their worries are.
"We know it isn’t just about opening your settings safely, but also ensuring you can do so without significant financial losses at what is likely to be reduced capacity.
"As soon as we can provide more clarity and guidance we will but this may not be until later this week. It’s complex and we want to get it right for the sector."
Please remember to share your comments and concerns with us. You can complete our short questionnaire, below, to share what's on your mind about returning.
How are you feeling about the prospect of fully reopening your setting?: