Keep early years safe and funded
Nursery schools and early years are currently required to remain open to all children.
Scientists tell us we need to reduce contacts so that viral levels fall. Not including nurseries and early years in the lockdown is likely to undermine the safety of our communities as well as that of our members.
The National Education Union (NEU) and UNISON ask the Government to take urgent action so that maintained nurseries and the early years sector admit key worker and vulnerable children only, as in other educational settings.
Nursery schools give children the best start in life and provide vital support to local communities. However, after years of chronic underfunding – exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic – the very survival of nursery schools and the sector is under threat. Without immediate action from Government, these settings will close.
We, the undersigned, are calling on the Government to ensure:
• All nurseries and early years settings reduce numbers attending, in the same way and on the same timescales as primary schools.
• Immediate provision of emergency funding to the sector to cover additional costs incurred due to Covid-19.
• A long-term funding formula for maintained nurseries and the early years sector as soon as possible to maintain funding and cover additional costs.
• Funding allocations be maintained for nurseries on 2019/20 pupil numbers until after the pandemic is over.
• Parents, who need to, are furloughed so that they can care for their children at home.