The Conservative Government is financially punishing Early Years Providers that have closed due to the pandemic.

Brighton & Hove Labour Councillors were stunned at the Government’s latest decision – to financially punish Early Years providers that have closed in order to drive down Covid-19 cases and keep people safe.

Labour, along with trade unions, led the calls for schools to close temporarily, and for nurseries to do the same. Labour Councillors were pleased the Council listened and moved council-run nurseries to be open only for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

But now, despite the current rate of Covid cases and the clear public health rationale for taking this action, the Government has issued new guidance which will financially penalise private and council-run nurseries that choose to remain open only for vulnerable and key worker children.

Labour’s Lead on the Children, Young People & Skills Committee, Councillor John Allcock, has today written jointly with Committee Chair, Green Councillor Hannah Clare, to the Children’s Minister, urging the government to financially support Early Years providers who see no option but to temporarily close at this time.

Opposition Spokesperson for the Children, Young People & Skills Committee, Labour Councillor John Allcock said:

“It’s shocking and disappointing that the Government has moved the goalposts for Early Years providers and put local communities at risk.

“The guidance issued yesterday is clearly designed to penalise providers who are aiming to protect staff, children and parents from Covid-19 by closing nurseries to all but vulnerable children and children of key workers.

“Early Years providers have been consistently let down by this government throughout the pandemic, both in terms of funding and public health – there’s been no testing or funding for PPE or cleaning.

“This is another let-down by this government, who are effectively financially blackmailing nurseries to re-open. I have written jointly with Councillor Clare to the Minister today, urging the government to reconsider, and give Early Years providers the financial support they desperately need.”

Photo by Gautam Arora on Unsplash

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