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New early years ministers confirmed

After the announcement of Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister, there has been a cabinet reshuffle and a number of ministerial changes at the Department for Education (DfE), including the departure of Nadhim Zahawi MP and Damian Hinds MP.

Nadhim Zahawi has been replaced with Kemi Badenboch MP as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families. Her roles and responsibilities have been confirmed on GOV.UK, and includes 30 hours and early years policy.

As stated on GOV.UK, the ministers 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 free childcare offer
  • social mobility including opportunity areas
  • DfE contribution to cross-government work to tackle rough sleeping

Damian Hinds MP has been replaced by Gavin Williamson CBE MP as Secretary of State for Education. Previously Secretary of State for Defence, the new Secretary of State is responsible for the work of the Department for Education including:

  • early years
  • children’s social care
  • teachers’ pay
  • the school curriculum
  • school improvement
  • academies and free schools
  • further education
  • higher education
  • apprenticeships and skills

Read more about our priorities for early years and how we work with the Government.

Susanna Kalitowski, policy manager at the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) comments: 
“PACEY congratulates Kemi Badenoch on her appointment and looks forward to working with her in the future. This is a position that has had five ministers in five years, and we are hoping that she will be able to stay in post long enough to build trust with the childcare and early years sector and bring about positive change. This can’t come soon enough, as her appointment comes at significant moment. Whilst more providers are ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ than ever before, more and more are also struggling to stay afloat. We have lost over a third of registered childminders in England since 2012, and staff turnover is increasing in nurseries. Urgent action is needed from government to  ensure that dedicated and talented practitioners continue to join and remain in the sector in the future, and that providers can balance their books. Without this, parents will no longer have access to a wide range of affordable, high quality provision in the future.”