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Lower birth weight of Dutch neonates who were in utero at the time of the 9/11 attacks Researchers compared birth weights of 1,885 Dutch babies who were in their mothers' womb during the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks in the USwith those of 1,258...

Busy Bees nursery and voucher businesses have been bought by ABC Learning Centres, the biggest daycare provider in the world, for 71m in a deal that could be the launching pad for further UK acquisitions by the Australian-based childcare giant. ABC, which has also recently swallowed up more childcare businesses in the US and now has 2,320 settings worldwide, said the Busy Bees voucher operation was 'a new business segment' that could be applied 'across the global childcare market'.

(Photograph) - Ballet dancer Angelina Spurrier and children at Swiss Cottage Community Centre in London buzz through a dress rehearsal for their Christmas performance of 'Cinderella', with a cast of 57. The troupe Swiss Cottage Dance was formed in 2005 for children aged two to 14. The three-year-olds dressed as bees and flowers for the first scene in which Cinderella dances in the forest. Photo Sam Freidrich

Check that your early years setting has the right care, learning and play policies with pointers from Laura Henry About this series

Some food for thought in your professional career Working with Babies and Children Under Three by Anna Duffy, Fiona Chambers, Sally Croughan and Jill Stephens (Heinemann, 14.99, 01865 888118) Reviewed by Sandy Green, early years consultant

Unions are challenging the BBC's decision to close workplace nurseries for its staff. Following an internal review, the corporation announced a phased programme of closures for its seven workplace nurseries and a move towards childcare vouchers instead (News, 14 December). While the nurseries provide 217 parents with childcare, the review found 3,000 parents needed help with childcare.

Early years settings asked young children what Christmas means to them. Here we share a selection of their replies

9 February Using poetry in the Foundation Stage and KS1

Nearly three-quarters of nurseries in England are not paid the full costs of the nursery education grant and many say they will raise fees, a survey has revealed. The findings from a report by the National Day Nurseries Association show that the contentious issue is affecting nurseries nationwide, with settings in 89 out of 150 local authorities voicing their concerns.

By Jane Davidson, Welsh education minister The Foundation Phase will provide young children with a curriculum which is more appropriate to their stage of development. It offers an approach that caters for their individual needs. Such an approach will, I am sure, lead to a reduction in disaffection and will encourage more students to stay on at school and become lifelong learners.

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