On 8 November Claire Coutinho MP was confirmed as Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing at the Department for Education, replacing Kelly Tolhurst MP. This is a new role at the DfE and her full list of responsibilities includes early years and childcare, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), family hubs and early childhood support among others.
Previously Claire Coutinho MP was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions.
Helen Donohoe, Policy Advisor at PACEY comments:
“PACEY congratulates Claire Coutinho on her appointment and we warmly welcome her to the education sector.
“The Minister’s appointment comes at a critical time when the sector is still reeling from the impacts of the pandemic, providers are battling soaring costs and ongoing recruitment and retention challenges. Our members are looking for stability in leadership as well as assurance that their concerns are being heard and acted upon. PACEY has long called for a strategic overhaul of the neglected early years and childcare system in England, instead of the concerning policy proposals we have seen mooted over recent months which would only serve to accelerate the decline in our sector.
"We have written to the new Minister requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the challenges facing our sector and to share the vital contribution that our childminder, nanny, nursery and pre-school members make within the wider education sector to support families and help prepare children for a bright future.”