Reported coronavirus cases in early years settings continue to rise
In the week commencing 1st February 2021, there were 2824 reported notifications of Covid-19 from early years settings in England, the highest ever.
Each reported notification indicates one or more confirmed cases in a setting, so the number of individual cases could be significantly higher.
The figures are published by Ofsted, with a two-week lag, as part of the government's transparency data.
In the previous week, commencing 25th January 2021, there were 2710 cases.
Ofsted started reporting the data on 1st June 2020 with just a handful of notifications being made in some weeks in June and July 2020. At the end of August 2020 there were just 14 reports.
Childcare.co.uk have been campaigning for priority vaccinations for all early years workers and access to in-setting asymptomatic tests.
Speaking about the latest figures, Richard Conway, CEO & Founder of Childcare.co.uk says:
"It is very worrying that despite the country being in a national lockdown since the start of the year, cases of Covid-19 in early years settings are continuing to rise. The latest figures are over two-hundred times higher than those at the end of August 2020.
"It is preposterous that early years workers are being denied priority vaccinations and access to regular in-setting asymptomatic tests for their staff.
"Childcare.co.uk have been lobbying the government on behalf of the early years sector for months but our pleas are falling on deaf ears, whilst the situation continues to worsen.
"The Prime Minister is thought to be announcing the reopening of schools to all children from 8th March which seems crazy when you look at what's happening in early years settings.
"The government must prioritise vaccinations for early years workers and teachers in order to protect their health and wellbeing."
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