NEWS: Children’s Minister calls for EY staff to be prioritised in mass testing
Minister for Children Vicky Ford MP has tweeted her support for early years and childcare staff to be included as a priority in the government’s planned rollout of asymptomatic testing in England. This rollout has been offered to every local authority in England with the aim of identifying people who have coronavirus but do not exhibit symptoms. The government has estimated that this accounts for a third of all cases.
Access to mass testing for early years staff including registered childminders is one of the key asks that PACEY, along with EYA and NDNA outline in our #ProtectEarlyYears campaign which launched last week. This is because it could help many settings to avoid long periods of temporary closure or staffing challenges (due to the need to self-isolate) which has placed increased pressure on many providers.
We were pleased to see our campaign shared in a BBC news report yesterday.
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at PACEY comments:
“The news that the DfE is working to ensure providers can access rapid lateral flow testing is positive but has to be part of a wider package of support that helps everyone working in early years settings. We continue to urge the government to prioritise early years staff for coronavirus vaccinations and provide additional funding support for providers who have been forced to temporarily close or have seen a fall in demand for places.
This, along with the publication of the scientific evidence that was used by DfE to decide it was low-risk to keep early years settings open whilst schools are closed, is needed to reassure providers concerned that every time they welcome children into their setting they may be placing themselves, their staff and their families at risk of Covid-19.”
Click here to download a template letter to send to your local MP asking them for their support to help #ProtectEarlyYears. Find out who your local MP by entering your location here.