Layla Moran has written to the Education Secretary slamming the Government for treating nurseries and early years settings as “an afterthought”, and urging him to “provide them with the clarity, reassurance, and attention which they deserve.”
Layla’s letter comes after hearing from early years providers in her constituency who are “very upset” and feeling “vulnerable and anxious”, after being asked to stay open with the threat of having funding withdrawn if they close. Instead, Layla says, nursery staff should be vaccinated as a priority in the same category as teachers and the scientific data and reasoning behind keeping early years settings open should be published.
The Oxford MP praised everyone working in early years, saying they “are working extremely hard and doing everything possible to ensure the safety of their staff and children”, pointing out “maintaining social distancing is impossible when your job is to care for young children.”
Layla said: “Our nursery and early years providers are on the frontline during this pandemic, caring for children day in day out. It’s utterly unacceptable that they have been left feeling like an afterthought by this government. They’ve done everything they can to make their settings safe, but when you are looking after young children measures like social distancing just aren’t possible.
“Staff feel like they have no choice but to stay open, and that they’re not receiving any help in return. They deserve clarity, reassurance and attention; their position is very precarious. I’m calling on Gavin Williamson to consider prioritising early years staff for the coronavirus vaccine in the same category as teachers, for the data behind decision making to be published and for their health and welfare to be given serious attention by this government.”