Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden, has been appointed the new minister for children and families at the Department for Education (DfE).

She replaces Nadhim Zahawi, who has moved to the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy following the government reshuffle.

Her portfolio at the DfE includes responsibility for the inspection and regulation of early years and childcare policy and the delivery of the 30-hour childcare scheme, as well as the pupil premium, special educational needs and children’s social care.

Badenoch became an MP in 2017 and is seen as a rising star in the Conservative Party. Previously, she was a London Assembly member, overlapping with Boris Johnson's tenure as Mayor of London.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said:

“We would like to welcome the new minister with responsibility for early years, Kemi Badenoch, and look forward to working with her.”

“We know that she has raised the issue of school funding in Parliament, so we now hope she will urgently look at early years funding for private, voluntary and independent (PVI) nursery providers who deliver the majority of funded childcare hours in England.”

“We will urge the new minister to look at solutions which include meaningful investment in funded childcare, calling the hours ‘funded’ rather than ‘free’ which raises unrealistic expectations, and giving nurseries in England 100% relief from unfair business rates. We hope that Mrs Badenoch will support the PVI sector to thrive so it can deliver the Government’s ambitious childcare promise.”

Last reviewed 5 August 2019