Government must act to close nurseries and pre-schools as Council takes matters into its own hands

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"Brighton and Hove Council has stepped in to protect staff, families and the wider community - Ministers must follow suit", says GMB Union

GMB Union says the Government needs to act now to close nurseries and pre-schools to save lives as the pandemic reaches a new crisis point. 

The call comes as Brighton and Hove Council agreed to close all early-years provision in the city – apart from the vulnerable children and the children of key workers - following pressure from GMB. 

GMB now urges Ministers to show the same leadership and close nurseries and pre-schools nationwide – rather than leaving it to local authorities to make the call. 

Stuart Fegan National Officer said: “From the very beginning of the pandemic, Ministers have neglected the early years sector - missing it from Government communications, excluding it from financial support and from the provision of home testing kits. 

“Brighton and Hove Council have shown real leadership and taken a decision the Government should already have made to protect people.  But it shouldn’t have been left to councils to step in to address the Government’s failure here. 

“There is no scientific evidence to support the continued opening of nurseries. It is purely a political decision, made by Ministers who are failing to take their responsibility to staff, families and the wider community seriously enough.  

“They’ve left nursery staff, childminders and nannies worrying for their safety and sown fear and confusion among parents. 

“It’s time for the Government to step in and correct this dangerous mistake by closing all nursery and pre-school provision to all but key workers and vulnerable children, in line with school closures.”