Early years chiefs have welcomed the announcement by the Department for Education that all staff from the private, voluntary and independent nurseries (PVI) sector will have access to lateral flow device (LFD) home tests twice-weekly as of 22nd March.

It is well known that PVI nursery settings were previously advised to access Covid tests at their local community test centres. This caused logistical issues for many PVI nursery settings because their local community testing centres are located miles away. The testing centres were also only open during working hours which often caused a timing issue for nurseries.

In an article published on daynurseries.co.uk it is reported that the early years sector has been campaigning for PVI nurseries to be treated the same as school nurseries and be given testing kits since December and that the announcement was welcomed by the Early Years Alliance and the National Day Nurseries Association. However the sector is still frustrated about waiting another month before the home testing will be rolled out across the country.

Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance chief executive, said: “After months of sector lobbying, today’s announcement will come as welcome, though long overdue, news for private and voluntary nurseries and pre-schools – although many will be understandably frustrated they will have to wait a full month for this change to come into effect.

“As the number of COVID reports from early years settings continues to rise, it’s clear the whole sector, without exception, must have access to home testing kits as soon as possible.

“At every stage of this crisis, PVI early years providers have had to fight to get the support they need to continue operating as safely as possible. It is incredibly disappointing that what should be a positive announcement for the sector has been undermined by more unequal treatment of hard-working early years professionals.”

‘We hope the roll-out of this plan can happen as soon as possible’

Read the full article here.

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