PACEY has welcomed today's positive news on the progress that has been made with one of the first of we hope, many new vaccines for COVID-19 and has called on government to ensure that, as it develops its plan for the roll out of new vaccines, that it includes early years and childcare staff, including childminders, in its criteria for priority access.
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of PACEY, said: “After months of challenge and uncertainty, PACEY and its members like so many others, were delighted to read of this positive development. We hope that if this vaccine as well as the others that are likely to follow in the coming months, progresses through the final checks and balances, it is made available to all priority workers including everyone in childcare and early years.
"We have today written to the Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care to reinforce the importance of including early years and childcare providers in the list of people who should have priority access to the vaccine when it is safe to distribute. We know how hard the sector has been hit by the pandemic; how important it is to ensure these service remain open for the benefit of children’s early development and parents’ ability to work. At the heart of this is supporting childminders, nurseries and pre-schools to protect their staff and so help them remain sustainable services in the future. They are considered priority workers for testing and we expect them to also be considered a priority for access to a vaccine.”
PACEY will again be attending another education briefing with some of the government's key scientific and medical advisers later this week where this and other matters will be discussed. We will share a blog on key points covered early next week.