MANY nurseries and early years education settings are being asked to remain open during national lockdown while instructing schools to close.

Data from our recent poll found that 82 per cent of people (1,111 respondents across the UK) believe that teachers should receive a priority Covid-19 vaccination alongside other key frontline workers.

It is, therefore, absolutely vital that the government recognises teachers and early years professionals as key frontline workers and protects them as they continue to provide face-to-face education and support.

Throughout the pandemic, early years education settings have found themselves in chaos, and forced to make difficult decisions about whether to close or remain open, with a lack of clear direction and support from the government.

It is paramount for the sustainability of the sector that the government provides adequate funding support to ensure all nursery settings can remain open, and able to deliver high quality education safely.

We fully support leading early years organisations, the Early Years Alliance, the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) and the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), in their calls on the government to prioritise those working in early years and childcare for Covid-19 vaccinations, to roll-out mass asymptomatic testing in these settings, to reinstate early entitlement funding support for settings forced to close or that have seen a fall in demand for funded places, and to introduce targeted funding for providers reliant on private income that have suffered from falls in parental demand.

Maccs Pescatore

Chief executive, Montessori Centre International

Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1