New shadow childcare minister named in reshuffle

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Labour MP for Darlington Jenny Chapman has been appointed the new shadow childcare minister in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s first reshuffle.


Jenny Chapman MP is the new shadow childcare minister

Ms Chapman was previously shadow prisons and probations minister since October 2012, and was elected as an MP in the 2010 general election.

Growing up in Darlington, County Durham, she began her political life as a local councillor in 2003, serving as lead member for children’s services for Darlington Borough Council prior to becoming an MP.

Ms Chapman has a history of campaigning in her constituency and Westminster. She has campaigned for a cap on payday loans and to successfully secure 480 Department for Education jobs in Darlington. She was also chair of Darlington Children’s Trust for many years.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn has appointed Ms Chapman to replace Pat Glass, who has been made shadow minister for Europe.

Shadow education secretary Lucy Powell tweeted, ‘Although v sorry to lose @PatGlassMP as childcare & early years spokesperson, I’m delighted that @JennyChapman has been appointed in her place.’

On her Twitter account, Ms Chapman said, ‘I will miss prisons and probation but ready for a new challenge.'

Childcare and education minister Sam Gyimah yesterday tweeted, ‘Congrats to @PatGlassMP on her new job. Now wondering who my fifth childcare shadow in 18 mths will be. #revengereshuffle.’

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association, said, ‘We congratulate Jenny on her new role and look forward to discussing with her the key part that private, voluntary and independent nurseries have to play in delivering high-quality childcare to support children and families.’

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance said, ‘The Pre-school Learning Alliance welcomes the appointment of Jenny Chapman MP as shadow childcare minister. We look forward to developing a healthy working relationship with Ms Chapman, ensuring that the early years agenda remains a top priority for the opposition.’

Commenting on the appointment, Liz Bayram, chief executive of the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), said, 'We’d like to congratulate Jenny Chapman on being appointed as the shadow childcare minister. We look forward to working with her closely in the coming months as the Government seeks to implement the doubling of the free early education entitlement for three- and four-year-olds.

'In order to deliver a high quality childcare offer for families, it is vital that barriers are removed that currently make it difficult for childminders and smaller group settings to provide funded places. We would also welcome the shadow minister’s support for a workforce development strategy to help early years professionals improve their skills and progress their careers and we look forward to sharing our ideas on this at the earliest opportunity.'

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