Today marks a year since I joined Labour’s front bench as the Shadow Early Years Minister.
It has been an absolute joy to get to know our early years sector. People who dedicate their lives to providing the best possible start for our young people.
Whether that’s as academics, providers or campaigning groups, the commitment of everyone I meet is astounding.
However, the truth is that not all is well under the Conservative government and I’ve tried my best to shine a light on their failings.
They’ve chronically underfunded childcare and early education policies to the point where providers are being forced out of business, there has been a dramatic decline in childminders and hundreds of children’s and Sure Start centres have disappeared on their watch.
There’s a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to continuing with it.
Along the way, we have had some victories – most notably pressuring the Government into including foster children in their 30 hours policy after they were unfairly excluded.
Here’s to the next year.