Ministers must wake up to the Covid threat in nurseries

New report paints a stark picture of the fear and anxiety

Responding to an Early Years Alliance report released today (Friday), which found that around half of early years staff don’t feel safe in their current working environment, UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: 

“The report paints a stark picture of the fear and anxiety that nursery staff feel.

“The​y’re in workplaces ​that are fully open during the lockdown with no social distancing, where masks can’t be worn and where testing isn’t taking place. It’s no surprise they feel ​so vulnerable.

“New Department for Education data suggest early years staff are at higher risk of contracting the virus than the general population. 

“Ministers can’t bury their heads in the sand over the Covid threat in nurseries and early years settings.

“Nurseries should only be open to the children of key workers and the vulnerable​, and staff must be regularly tested. Anything less could put lives at risk.”

 Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.

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