Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn and former Shadow Early Years Minister, has been confirmed as Chair of the Childcare and Early Education All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).
Ms Siddiq is an influential and experienced voice in Parliament on early years issues, and has previously challenged the government over early years funding.
With the national roll-out of the government’s flagship 30-hours childcare policy beginning last week, and on-going issues surrounding the Childcare Service, the establishment of the new APPG indicates that parliamentarians of all parties are paying close attention to the delivery of early years policy on the ground. Childcare providers across the country have challenged the government on its funding of the 30-hours policy, stating that they will be paid less per hour than the cost of providing the care.
An APPG is a cross-party group of MPs and Peers who join together to further a particular topic or policy area. When run effectively, APPGs can have a significant influence on government decisions and priorities. As well as challenging the government on its 30-hours childcare policy, the APPG for Childcare and Early Education is also expected to focus on support for parents, workforce issues, raising standards in care, and the financial sustainability of the sector.
The APPG is being sponsored by the National Day Nurseries Association, CACHE, The Foundation Stage Forum, Tops Day Nurseries and the Pre-school Learning Alliance.
Commenting on the announcement, Tulip Siddiq MP said:
“I am delighted to be Chair of the new Childcare and Early Education APPG. This is a sector that I feel extremely passionate about, and I am pleased to be able to contribute to the on-going debate in a constructive way.
“With a young family myself, I understand the importance of affordable, high quality childcare and nursery provision, and how crucial it is to working families across the country.
“There is much for the APPG to be working on and myself and the officers of the group are united about ensuring childcare and early education works best for children and families across the country.”
A statement from the five sponsors of the APPG said:
“Tulip is an excellent advocate for the sector and she will be a strong Chair of this APPG. We are pleased to see the government putting more focus into childcare and early education, but there are serious concerns across the sector about the implementation of these policies.
“We want this APPG to be a positive group to support parliamentarians and the sector to work constructively with ministers to improve and strengthen the provision of childcare and early education for millions of children across the country.
“We look forward to working with Tulip and other officers of the APPG to achieve this.”