Childcare minister hosts reception for the sector

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Education and childcare minister Sam Gyimah invited guests from across the early years sector to a formal reception in London's Lancaster House yesterday.

The event was organised to thank providers for their role in improving children’s futures, said Mr Gyimah. 'Some of you give me a really hard time - but that's good!'

He said, 'The importance of childcare is huge in a child’s development and upbringing – that’s why we all have a moral mission to get it right.
 
'As Childcare Minister, I’ve been privileged to travel all over the country meeting with providers. The consistently high bar they set made me want to put on an event to say "thank you" for the work they are doing.
 
'I am very proud of what we have all achieved during this Parliament to make sure parents can make the best possible childcare choices for their families.'

The minister's speech praised several settings that he has visited since taking up the role, including Pen Green Children's Centre, Evolution Childcare and Nannas Day Nursery.

Sue Jones of Evolution said, 'The two-, three- and four-year-old funding has been fantastic for parents, and the benefits for the children of receiving childcare are huge. They have better social interaction and are more emotionally developed.
 
'I think the event was a really good idea and it again shows that the early years is a priority for this government.'
 
Rob Jones added, 'It was lovely to be invited to such a nice place by the Minister. It was great to get the invitation and come down and meet so many different types of providers in one place.'

Mr Gyimah was followed at the podium by Rachel Burden of Radio Five Live, who spoke about her experiences of childcare as a working mother with three young children.

Case studies of successful initiatives were displayed around the room, and two were highlighted with presentations - Matt Biggs of Staffordshire Council explained the authority's work on the two-year-olds funded places, while a childminder from the Isle of Wight spoke about her forest school activities.

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Sam Gyimah thanks the early years sector.

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Sue Jones and Rob Jones of Evolution Childcare.

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Matt Biggs of Staffordshire local authority talks about the two-year-old programme.

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Nursery World's Nursery Manager of the Year Carolynn Fletcher with Sam Gyimah.

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Danielle Dixon of Kinder Haven (right) and Cheryl Brown of Brown Bears (centre).

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Childminders including Jane Comeau, chair of PACEY (second from right) and Nursery World Childminder of the Year Samantha McKenna (right).

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Sasi Srinivasan of the London Borough of Brent (centre) and childminder Hani Noor.

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Looking at a case study with Kelly Walton.

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