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The Government must take early years provision more seriously with a long-term vision, a cross-party group of MPs warns today, if ministers really want to close the attainment gap between poor children and their peers.

We take a look at some of the biggest stories of 2013 and consider what lies ahead.

A group of two children’s centres in Bournemouth has been rated as ‘requires improvement’ in its first Ofsted inspection since being amalgamated.

Oxfordshire County Council has backtracked on proposals to close some of its children’s centres, following widespread campaigns to keep the centres open.

The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) is consulting with practitioners on the continued professional development (CPD) support they require in the future.

Plans to close a third of children’s centres in Dudley have been abandoned after parents campaigned against the proposed closures.

Early years experts and organisations are calling for a national debate on how children’s centres provide vital support for children and families.

New figures from the Government’s Troubled Families programme show that halfway into the three-year programme, more than fifty-per-cent (62,000) of the 120,000 identified households are being worked with.

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.

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.