Last month I had the pleasure of introducing the Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing, David Johnston MP, to two brilliant organisations which make the lives of children in my Brentwood and Ongar constituency better.
SNAP, a charity based in Warley in Brentwood, cannot be praised highly enough for the work it does with and for children with special needs and their parents. They are particularly good at helping families cope with and understand a diagnosis of autism, and I know David was hugely impressed by the team’s knowledge and expertise during his visit to the SNAP Centre.
SNAP’s Chief Executive, Karen Boath, made it very clear more is needed to meet the needs of children with special needs. It’s an issue which is close to my heart which is why I am campaigning for a new special school in the area to meet the needs of those children and their families.
The Conservatives are expanding childcare provision by record amounts – doubling investment from £4 billion to £8 billion, and ensuring that working parents of children from 9 months to starting school get access to 30 hours of childcare a week.
And with this in mind, I took the Minister to North Weald for the second part of his visit, to meet Lesley Seville and her team at Scribbles Day Nursery. Lesley is a keen advocate of all that nurseries offer children whose parents have gone back to work and who need excellent childcare.
I know David was impressed by all he saw and everyone he met while visiting this area, and will be taking all the concerns raised with him back to the Department for Education. I will continue to press him to ensure nursery staff are valued and their skills in developing the youngest of my constituents are recognised.