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New early years minister finally confirmed

After a cabinet reshuffle led to a number ministerial changes at the Department for Education (DfE), including the departure of Robert Goodwill MP, Nadhim Zahawi MP for Stratford-on Avon, has been brought into the DfE as a junior education minister. His roles and responsibilities have finally been officially confirmed on GOV.UK, and they include early years policy and 30 hours. 

As stated on GOV.UK, the minister’s responsibilities include:

  • children’s social care including child protection, children in care, adoption, care leavers, social work, local authority performance and family law
  • special educational needs including high needs funding
  • education policy in response to the race disparity audit
  • safeguarding in schools
  • disadvantaged pupils – including pupil premium and pupil premium plus
  • school sport, healthy pupils and school food, including free school meals
  • early years policy including inspection, regulation and literacy and numeracy
  • childcare policy, inspection and regulation
  • delivery of 30 hours childcare offer
  • social mobility including opportunity areas

Susanna Kalitowski, policy manager at PACEY comments: “The early years sector has been in a state of flux with four different childcare ministers in the past eighteen months, we hope the new appointment of Nadhim Zahawi will bring some much needed stability. Childcare businesses are under immense pressure. Childminder numbers continue to fall, and a lack of sustainable funding remains the single biggest burden on the sector. Increasing costs and poor funding levels for ‘free’ places are really taking their toll. We will be meeting with the minister at his earliest convenience to discuss the issues our members are facing and work towards a brighter future for all early years professionals.”

Read more about our priorities for early years and how we work with the Government. PACEY sent a letter to the new minister outlining our key policy priorities shortly after he took office.