This week the Government published its latest data showing the number of registered early years and childcare settings in England that contacted Ofsted to report confirmed cases of coronavirus.
When we last reported this data for the week commencing 4 January, 1,267 settings made reports of coronavirus cases. This number has increased steeply to 2,357 settings in the week commencing 11 January and 2,279 settings in the week commencing 18 January.
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at PACEY comments:
“For many providers who were not eligible for financial support throughout the pandemic, having to temporarily close their doors poses a huge risk to their income and viability of their business.
“The latest figures are extremely concerning, especially as these only tell us the number of settings reporting cases and underestimate the total number of cases. Despite this, the government in England has still not committed to supply PVI providers with regular home testing, which would detect asymptomatic cases and give reassurance to practitioners who have been asked to stay open in the latest lockdown as well as the families who rely on them.
“Given that the government provides home testing kits to staff in maintained nurseries, school-based nurseries as well as primary schools and recently promised regular Lateral Flow Tests for businesses with 50+ staff, we cannot understand why PVI nurseries, childminders and pre-schools are still expected to leave work and travel to a community testing site. They deserve the same level of protection as their school-based peers and continued DfE delay in achieving this is inexcusable.”