Maree Todd appointed new children’s minister
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has appointed Highlands and Islands MSP Maree Todd as Scotland’s new Minister for Childcare and Early Years.
The position became vacant when Mark McDonald quit the role on Saturday after being investigated by the SNP over claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Todd was elected to the Highlands and Islands list in 2016 after a career as a pharmacist.
The appointment is subject to parliamentary agreement and approval by the Queen, but Todd can carry out some duties immediately, including attending official meetings.
Sturgeon said the children’s minister was a “crucial post” because of the prominence of early years in the Scottish Government’s policy agenda.
“The importance of early years development simply cannot be overstated, which is why my government is putting so much emphasis on doing all we can to ensure youngsters across Scotland can reach their full potential,” she said.
“I know that Maree is passionate about this work and I look forward to seeing her lead this agenda.”
Todd said: “I am honoured to be asked to carry out this important role. The early years are so crucial in shaping Scotland’s next generation.
“A lot of great work has already been done and I am really looking forward to continuing to take forward policies like the baby box, the commitment to almost doubling entitlement to free early learning and childcare hours and leading celebrations for the Year of Young People 2018.”
Todd currently sits on the Health and Sport Committee so will be replaced by another SNP member.