Concerns over workforce safety as new survey reveals high staff Covid rates in early years settings

A joint survey by Ceeda and the Early Years Alliance reveals high positive rates in early years staff despite low prevalence of virus in young children.

the Early Years Alliance has called on the government to take urgent action to ensure the safety of those working in nurseries, pre-school and childminding settings in England during national lockdown after the survey found: 

  • Nearly 1 in 10 (9%) nursery and pre-school staff and one in 12 (8%) childminders have tested positive for Covid-19 since 1 December 2020
  • Around half of early years practitioners (48% of nursery and pre-school staff and 54% of childminders) say they don’t feel safe in their current early years working environment.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of nurseries and pre-schools say that there is a moderate to high risk that their whole setting may need to temporarily close in coming weeks due to staff shortages brought about by Covid-19.

The online survey, which was conducted between Friday 15 January and Tuesday 19 January, received over 3,700 responses from those working in the early years and childcare sector.

Ceeda analysis of the survey findings estimates that around 31,000 staff working in nurseries and pre-schools and almost 3,000 childminders have tested positive for Covid-19 since 1 December 2020. In comparison, the survey suggests that, on average, less than one child per early years setting has tested positive during the same time period.

See related national news coverage HERE