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Celebrations at Busy Bees nurseries across the country for the 30th birthday of the UK's largest nursery group include parties, competitions and a world record attempt.

The Department for Education has doubled the funding available for the early years bursary scheme to £3,000 in a bid to encourage more applicants.

An attempt by peers to maintain the legal duty on local authorities in England to assess the sufficiency of childcare in their local area has failed.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Labour reveals that one in three councils believe they do not have enough places to meet the Government’s two-year-old offer.

Elizabeth Truss has accused Labour of misinterpreting statistics, after Ed Miliband claimed there are 35,000 fewer childcare places under the current Government.

A project set up to confront the problem of Vitamin D deficiency in young children has won a national nutrition award.

Sunflower Nursery in Cambridge played host to the Deputy Prime Minister.

On a visit to a nursery today, Ed Miliband will say that parents who are struggling to cope with rising bills and stagnant wages, now face an increase in childcare costs.

Childminders have expressed disappointment that a peer’s attempt to postpone the introduction of childminding agencies has failed.

While Government figures on the number of two-year-olds that have taken up the free early education places could be viewed as encouraging, the sector has cautioned that any future success is dependent on adequate funding and support for providers.