This week Ofsted published its latest data showing the number of registered early years and childcare settings in England that reported confirmed cases of coronavirus. The latest data for December 2021 shows a record high, with notifications more than doubling over that month.
Number of settings notifying Ofsted of a coronavirus case (full data available here)
- 29 November 2021: 2379 notifications
- 6 December 2021: 1601 notifications
- 13 December 2021: 2935 notifications
- 20 December 2021: 3697 notifications
PACEY members can access the latest advice on operating during the pandemic in our Coronavirus Spotlight which is updated on a regular basis during this latest wave.
Helen Donohoe, Policy Advisor at PACEY comments:
“The latest figures are extremely concerning to us, especially as we are not seeing any signs of this slowing down. Many providers across England are having to temporarily close their doors - sometimes multiple times in a short timeframe – without access to the support offered to the rest of the education sector. And the limited grant funding that is available to practitioners through local authorities seems to be a postcode lottery with different eligibility criteria down to individual discretion.
"The reality is that our sector is likely to continue to face disruptions over the coming months. The Government needs to recognise the severity of the situation and put in place a long-term plan to support all registered providers to remain sustainable during the pandemic and beyond. This starts with ensuring that all PVI nurseries, childminders and pre-schools can access urgent funding to cover Covid-related financial loss. Without this, they cannot be expected to dedicate their energy on providing a high-quality learning environment for the many children who have been affected by the pandemic.”