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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.

Nurseries, childminding groups and pre-schools are invited to register for the I CAN Chatterbox Challenge 2014.

New research shows families where one parent works and the other stays at home are the largest group of households with children living in poverty.

Government figures, released yesterday, show that around 70 per cent of the 130,000 disadvantaged two-year-olds eligible for early education places have so far taken up the offer.

Ms Gregory is to retire at the end of December after 13 years working at Ofsted.

Nurseries, pre-schools, childminders, schools, and all those working to develop children's speech, language and communication skills are invited to enter the 2013/2014 Shine A Light Awards.

A not for profit organisation is seeking funding to open the first full-time Cornish language nursery school in the United Kingdom next year.

Professionals working with children should be required by law to report any suspicions they have about child abuse, the former director of public prosecutions has said.

The Department for Education (DfE) is consulting with the early years sector and parents on staff:child ratios, in a renewed drive to encourage providers to move to a 1:13 ratio for three- and four-year-olds.