A cabinet reshuffle has led to significant leadership changes at the Department for Education. The education secretary, Justine Greening MP, has been replaced by Damian Hinds, the MP for East Hampshire. Previously, Mr Hinds was a junior work and pensions minister overseeing the introduction of Universal Credit. He was also formerly a member of the Commons Education Select Committee and the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility.
Responding to the appointment of Damian Hinds as education secretary, PACEY chief executive Liz Bayram said, “PACEY would like to congratulate Damian Hinds on his appointment as education secretary. We look forward to working with him and his ministers in the coming months.
"Childcare and early years provision in England is truly at a crossroads. He therefore has a real opportunity to ensure high quality experiences for our pre-school children are enjoying today are not lost to future generation and through this, ensure disadvantaged children are supported to achieve their full potential.
“Whilst the overwhelming majority of providers are now good or outstanding, their businesses are also under immense pressure. Increasing costs alongside poor funding levels for ‘free’ places are taking their toll. The number of registered childminders has dropped by more than a quarter in the past five years. Improved funding levels, monthly payments and reduced red tape remain key to success and PACEY will continue to raise these issues with ministers.
“The Department must also follow through on its early years workforce strategy, to incentivise early years practitioners to stay in the sector, further develop their skills, and progress their careers. So there is much for the sector and the new education secretary to work together to achieve.”
PACEY also understands that the Minister of State for Children and Families, Robert Goodwill MP, who is responsible for childcare and early years policy, has left the Government. His replacement has not yet been announced.