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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.

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.

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.