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Self-employed childcare providers could miss out on Universal Credit as a result of receiving early years entitlement funding, the Early Years Alliance has warned.

The Just Childcare group, which operates nurseries in the North West, Yorkshire and the South West, has acquired Kiddy Factory Nursery in Liverpool.

One of the largest nursery groups in France has acquired The Old Station Nursery group.

Bright Horizons has bought My Family Care, including the Tinies nanny franchises.

The UK’s biggest nursery group has acquired Giraffe Childcare, one of Ireland’s largest.

Childminder at Little Stars Childcare, Ulverston

A petition calling on the Government to increase childcare funding in line with minimum wage rises has secured more than 6,400 signatures in just a few days.

Bright Horizons has lost its case in the high court to extend one of its settings after a judge ruled a nursery is not a ‘school’ and therefore does not benefit from the same planning rights.

The new About Early Years Sector Skills Survey finds childcare employers are four times as likely to say staff lack crucial skills than in other sectors. By Hannah Crown

Affluent areas are growing nurseries while settings in areas of deprivation are increasingly struggling to survive, according to Christie and Co.