Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced Longfield’s appointment this morning after the education select committee published a report supporting her candidacy for the post.
The report was published less than 48 hours after Longfield appeared before the committee for a pre-appointment hearing.
During the committee hearing on Tuesday, she told MPs that one of her priorities would be to create a system that joins up services around vulnerable children and young people.
Announcing the appointment, Morgan said: “Anne has shown relentless dedication and drive to improving the lives of children and young people during a career spanning over 30 years, and I know she shares my commitment to championing children’s rights and safeguarding their interests – particularly the most vulnerable.
“I have absolutely no doubt that her strong track record in children and young people’s services and the passion she has demonstrated throughout her career will make a real difference to the lives of children as she takes the helm at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.”
Longfield will take up the post on 1 March 2015, the day after outgoing commissioner Maggie Atkinson’s five-year term ends.
She said: “I am delighted and hugely privileged to have been appointed as the next children’s commissioner for England.
“It’s a vitally important role with the potential to make a real difference for children in this country – especially for those vulnerable children who need our protection and support the most.”
She will become the third children’s commissioner for England, following Atkinson and Sir Al Aynsley-Green, who held the post between 2005 and 2010.
Longfield was named as the government’s preferred candidate for the post last Tuesday, following a selection process run by the Department for Education and the Cabinet Office.
The move prompted a group of early years campaigners to question her suitability for the role due to 4Children being a strategic partner to the DfE.
Longfield was appointed chief executive of the Kids Club Network in 1994 and oversaw its rebranding into 4Children in 2004.
In 2001, she was seconded for a year to the Prime Minister’s strategy unit as policy adviser.
She was made an Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Years Honours in 2000.