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NEWS: Secretary of State writes to the sector around home testing

In light of yesterday’s announcement around the gradual easing of lockdown in England, the government has updated its ‘actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’ guidance. PACEY is currently updating its FAQs to reflect these updates.

In addition, the Secretary of State for Education has written to the sector setting out plans to make asymptomatic home testing available to staff at PVI nurseries in England next month. In this he also makes clear that the Government is securing the 'most effective approach’ to make home testing available to childminders. Read the full letter from Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP here.

PACEY continues to work with the DfE team responsible for developing Government’s planned approach and is urging DfE to finalise this for registered childminders and nannies in England as soon as possible, given that Welsh Government as well as some local authorities in England are already providing home testing to registered childminders and nannies.

As part of PACEY’s recent #NotAtArmsLength campaign which highlights the close contact that practitioners have with children to provide the level of care and education that is required, we are calling for improved access to regular home testing for the whole sector, as well as prioritisation for vaccinations once the most vulnerable have received theirs.

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at PACEY comments:

“We are hearing from many of our members who, quite understandably feel let down by Government once again. 

"It is imperative that registered childminders and nannies in England are offered the same level of protection as their colleagues in other PVI settings as soon as possible. Until then, the only way to access asymptomatic testing is via community sites, many of which are impractical to get to and only open during working hours. We have offered our support to DfE in setting out the most practical approach to provide home tests to childminders and nannies, and encourage them to work closely with local authorities who should lead on supporting this in their local communities.”