The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that maintained, school-based, and PVI nurseries and pre-schools in England will receive a ‘one-off’ drop of face coverings delivered direct to settings.
This offer comes in line with the latest advice from Public Health England that face coverings should be used in education, early years and childcare settings when social distancing between adults is not possible. The deliveries of approximately 450 masks will support contingency stock to ‘ensure maximum compliance with the system of controls’ and are expected to arrive in settings by Wednesday 17 March.
The DHSC is not extending this delivery of face coverings to childminders, and instead childminders are recommended to source these from local nurseries and schools:
“You can request a small number (approximately two to five per childminder) of face coverings from your local nursery or primary school to use only as contingency stock. Nurseries and primary schools should consider how much stock they have available and should use their discretion when deciding if they can support childminders.’
Read the full guidance of use of face coverings in the Department for Education Actions for early years and childcare providers.
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at PACEY comments:
“It is unacceptable that childminders are once again left out of Government measures designed to keep them safe at work, after first missing out in the home testing rollout and now left to their own devices to source PPE from other providers who get these hand-delivered.
“With the recent return to school increasing chains of transmission and still no word on when home testing might be made available to them, childminders are feeling at greater risk than ever of contracting the virus and putting their family members in danger. Being excluded from this latest support is appalling. They are left with the only option of purchasing PPE themselves or contacting local nurseries and school to plead to be included in their provision. This simply is NOT good enough.”