Nurseries could be forced to close following pressure from unions for ministers to treat them the same as schools.
Labour leader Sir
Keir Starmer said nurseries ‘probably should be closed’ as tougher restrictions are considered
Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Education Union, said yesterday that he thought nurseries should shut ‘to get cases down’.
He also backed Labour’s calls to expand furlough provision for working parents.
Local authorities have also expressed concerns about keeping early-years settings open, with Brighton Council taking the decision to shut the seven nurseries it runs.
Meanwhile the council in Greenwich, south-east London, which was involved in a dispute with ministers after it attempted to shut its schools early before Christmas, has also challenged the Government over the wisdom of keeping nurseries open.
Leader of the borough, Danny Thorpe, has written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, asking: ‘Much of the local and national concern has been around schools reopening, rightly putting the safety of our teachers in the spotlight once again, but what about the safety of our early years practitioners?’