Alliance comments on publication of lateral flow testing guidance for PVI nurseries in England

The government has now published guidance on lateral flow testing for private, voluntary and independent (PVI) nurseries and pre-schools in England. The Department for Education confirmed that settings will start receiving deliveries of lateral flow devices (LFDs) from today (Thursday 11 March) to be used from the week beginning 22 March.

Childminders are yet to be included in the home testing roll-out, in spite of all household members of school age children now able to access home test kits.

Commenting, Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance chief executive, said:

"Nursery and pre-school staff will breathe a huge sigh of relief today as details of the long-overdue home testing roll-out are confirmed.

"Given the close contact early years staff have with children, parents and colleagues, the ability to identify asymptomatic cases will be critical in keeping frontline nursery workers safe, and in work. While this is a hugely welcome step, it is one that the sector has had to fight hard for, and that should never have been the case.

"It remains unacceptable, however, that even now, childminders are still waiting for government to acknowledge the unique risks they face, not only through looking after children from other families, but through bringing them into their own homes. With lateral flow testing now so widespread, including access for larger businesses and entire households of all school age children, there is no excuse for their continued exclusion from this testing programme. As such, we look forward to the government announcing a strategy to keep all of our early education professionals safe, not just those in nurseries and pre-schools."