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A series of webcasts, featuring a Masterchef semi-finalist and former nursery chef, have been launched with advice for settings on planning cooking sessions with children.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

From today, early years providers will be subject to a stricter inspection under Ofsted's revised framework.