Early ed lobby pleads for inclusion in pool testing

Boston Statehouse

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BOSTON (SHNS) – It’s “unconscionable” to exclude the early education and care industry from a K-12 pool testing program announced last week by the Baker administration, the industry said Monday.

Representatives of more than 250 providers, advocates and associations said their sector needs access to the same COVID-19 health and safety supports that are being provided to K-12 schools.

In a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday, which was distributed by Early Education for All, dozens of signers wrote, “We remind you that early education and care and after-school providers have been at work, serving children in-person since the first days of the pandemic. We remind you that you have deemed us essential workers and that you have noted repeatedly that we are foundational to Massachusetts’ post-pandemic recovery. Clearly, we are not essential enough to benefit from the same health and safety measures meant to protect the lives and wellbeing of our K-12 brothers and sisters who care for the same families that we do.”

They added, “As we look upon the next few months knowing that the Covid-19 transmission rate is going to continue to rise, failure to make testing available to our programs will mean more of us will close, leaving more families without the care solutions they need and more young children without the early education they deserve.”

Baker last week outlined a pool testing approach that will be available in public schools, describing it as a more efficient way to test large numbers of students and staff.

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