What nurseries need if they are to stay open

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The government has asked nurseries, childminders and preschools in England to remain open during the current national lockdown, but provided no evidence that it is safe for them to do so (Nurseries in England warn they face ruin without Covid support, 11 January).Given the increased transmissibility of the new variant of Covid-19, it is imperative that the government makes public the details of the health advice that it claims underpins this decision. This must include current data on rates of transmission in the sector, and the number of children and staff attending early years settings who have been hospitalised or have sadly lost their lives as a result of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.Access to mass symptomatic testing and vaccinations will be pivotal to ensuring that the sector is able to operate as safely as possible, and so it is critical that both are made available as a matter of urgency. Equally vital is adequate financial support to ensure that all childcare providers, whether reliant on government funding or private income, are able to remain sustainable during this incredibly challenging time.Neil Leitch Early Years Alliance, Purnima Tanuku National Day Nurseries Association, Liz Bayram Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years

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