Early years settings to reopen on 1 June, Prime Minister confirms
By Rachel Lawler
Early years settings will reopen to more children on 1 June as planned, the Prime Minister has confirmed, as the government's 'five tests' for reopening have been met.
However, the Prime Minister also warned that there may be local outbreaks in the future which may lead to some lockdown measures being reintroduced.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, commented: "We welcome the clarity from today’s announcement that the government is satisfied that the five tests have been met and that providers will be able to open to children of all ages on Monday.
“However, it is of paramount importance that nurseries, pre-schools and childminders feel that they can keep themselves and the families they care for safe. We know that this has been a significant focus for providers in deciding whether to reopen their settings on 1 June. It is therefore vital that today’s decision has been taking based on solid evidence and with the best interests of the health of staff and families at the forefront of the decision.
“Across the sector, providers will have taken different views entirely based on their own circumstances and local risk, which is the wholly appropriate course of action to take. It is crucial those providers intending to reopen next week receive the necessary support and clear operating guidance from the government to ensure that staff and the families of children in their care are put first.
“Many parents will be understandably hesitant about sending their children to a childcare provider reopening on Monday and as such it is very likely that nurseries, pre-schools and childminders will see a significant drop in demand for places in the short-term, which will result in a loss of income. The government must therefore offer more than just a public health solution to the reopening of the early years sector and commit whatever financial support is required to ensure that providers can remain financially sustainable during this period."