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NEWS: PACEY seeks clarity on early years and childcare sector vaccinations in England

PACEY is aware of reports this morning that some childminders, nursery and pre-school practitioners in England have secured appointments for Covid-19 vaccinations by stating they are members of the social care workforce and so in category 4 for priority vaccination. This is a new development (linked to the fact that nursery workers and childminders are included in this category by the National Career Service). We raised this with the Department for Education (DfE) this week and previously, as we are aware that a few local authorities are including their local practitioners in category 4. Up until now, Government has stated that nursery workers and childminders were to be considered for priority (as part of the education workforce) after the most vulnerable had received vaccination.

PACEY is now urgently seeking clarification from DfE on this matter and will let members know more as soon as we can.

If you have secured a vaccination appointment, please do let us know by emailing and confirming

(a) what NHS Trust area you live in and

(b) what category of vaccination you qualified under. Vaccination categories can be found here.

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at PACEY said:

“We have been calling for childminders and nursery staff to be prioritised for vaccination after the most vulnerable, given how impossible it for them to socially distance from young children. We are aware that in some local authorities, practitioners have already been offered vaccinations as part of priority group 4 social care and have been calling on government in England for clarification on this issue for some time now.

"Our greatest concern is that this lack of clarity is already leading to a postcode lottery of vaccination for our sector. A rapid policy decision is now needed on this matter. Our members are clear that, whilst desperate to receive the vaccination, they do not want to do so at the expense of those members of the community who are classified as more vulnerable to Covid-19.”