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Tulip Siddiq to lead new APPG on early education

By Rachel Lawler
 
Former shadow early years minister Tulip Siddiq has been confirmed as the chair of the new Childcare and Early Education All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).
 
An APPG is a cross-party group of MPs and members of the House of Lords who meet to discuss a particular issue or policy area. APPGs can have a significant influence on Government decisions if run effectively.
 
30-hours offer
The early years sector is under increasing pressure from the government’s 30-hours childcare offer, which many providers say is underfunded and unsustainable. This new APPG suggests that politicians from all parties are beginning to pay attention to the issues facing the sector.
 
Siddiq, a Labour MP, was appointed shadow minister for the early years in October 2016, but stepped down three months later over Labour's decision to vote in favour of triggering Article 50, which started Britain's exit from the European Union. She commented: “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.”
 
The Alliance, NDNA, CACHE, The Foundation Stage Forum and Tops Day Nurseries are sponsoring the APPG.
 
In a group statement, the sponsors said: “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.”
 
Cross-party MPs
The other MPs elected to officers in the group are: Ruth George, Labour MP for High Peak; Julian Study, Conservative MP for York Outer; Neil Gray, SNP MP for Airdrie and Shotts; Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North; and Yasmin Qureshi, Labour MP for Bolton South East.
 
Siddiq added: “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.”
 
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