NDNA’s Purnima Tanuku speaks out on BBC News At One about need to keep nurseries safe
Friday, January 8, 2021
The sector’s campaign for the Government to take more measures to keep nursery workers safe during lockdown has moved up a gear with television coverage this lunchtime (8 January).
The campaign for early years workers to be among those classed as a priority to receive the Covid vaccine has been flagged by prime-time BBC News.
Last week the Government announced that it was safe for nurseries to stay open during lockdown.
But despite the assurances from scientists that children under five are less likely to catch the virus, the early years sector is calling for clear evidence about the risks in order to justify their services staying open.
It is also calling for mass testing across all services and for the Government to give more funding to those providers who have seen a drop in numbers.
- Government urged to vaccinate all nursery and childcare workers
- Early years settings to remain open during third lockdown
Speaking on the programme, Purnima Tanuku said: ‘Eighty five per cent of childcare is delivered by the private and voluntary sectors and they are feeling let down at the moment. They are having to juggle staffing issues every day.’
Deputy manager at Fennies Nursery, Jasmine Bran, was interviewed at her setting. She said: ‘All critical workers should be given the vaccine as a priority and hopefully this will move forward and be considered.’
Speaking at a Downing Street Press Conference earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that it was 'very important' to keep early years provision open for key workers but failed to mention that childcare settings are currently open for all children.
However, increasing numbers of providers are deciding to close due to safety fears.
Meanwhile, where parents decide to keep their children out of nursery, providers will now lose their funding for free entitlement places not taken up.