Children’s minister Sam Gyimah took a tour of a Tottenham nursery this morning.

Mr Gyimah was shown around Brown Bears Nursery by owner Cheryl Brown as part of a ministerial visit to childcare businesses recently awarded government grants.

The minister said that as he had a five month year old child himself, he understood the importance of good childcare.

He added: “My parents split up when I was very young. When I was about four or five years old, my mother used to read to me every night, and there was no getting away from doing my reading.

“She’s a nurse, so she was very busy. Now I appreciate how important that kind of interaction is.

“Given my personal experience, now being in a position where I can see how the grants help is tremendously rewarding.”

Cheryl Brown, the owner of the nursery, said the business was a family one.

She said: “My mother does all of the cooking, and she says she’ll give me a year but I’m hoping to persuade her to stay longer!”

Ms Brown was awarded a £500 grant by the government as part of the Childcare Business Grant Scheme, which aims to support self-employed people who want to set up their own childcare business.

The scheme today hits a milestone with £1 million paid out, with a further £1 million still available.

Ms Brown said: "It's not a huge amount of money, but every little helps!"