PACEY has welcomed the government’s new £500 Test and Trace Support payment to help people on lower incomes to self-isolate without worrying about their finances.
Those eligible for this new payment will be current recipients of Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
Liz Bayram, chief executive of PACEY, said:
“Many childminders, nurseries and pre-school staff are on low incomes and rely on in-work benefits to help make ends meet. This new payment will be most welcome but at PACEY we remain focussed on trying to persuade government that more needs to be done to support the early years and childcare sector to recover from this pandemic and navigate the on-going challenges of lower than usual occupancy levels for children; temporary closure due to suspected Covid-19 cases coupled with delays in accessing test and trace services.
“With support from the current furlough scheme ending next month; no sign of further Government help for the almost 39,000 self-employed childminders in England and Wales and the end of the DfE’s commitment, in England, to pay pre-Covid levels of funded entitlement by January, we need the Chancellor to recognise that the early years and childcare sector is vital not only to our economic recovery but to children’s life chances. He must establish a long-term funding strategy that ensures the full cost of delivering high quality early education for children is covered by Government’s funded entitlement fees.”
The new scheme will be set up by Local Authorities and should be in place by 12 October. As the law on self-isolation begins from the 28 September, anyone who starts to self-isolate from the 28 September will receive backdated payments once the scheme is set up in their Local Authority.