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Children's charities are concerned that families will have to wait for more than two years before the new tax-free childcare system is brought in and that not enough is being done to support families on the lowest incomes.

Early years and childcare organisations responding to the Government's announcement that childcare vouchers will be extended to more working families are calling for a more simplified funding system that would pay providers directly.

Mary Evans finds out what level of support nurseries are receiving to help them to meet the target for twos in September.

A challenging economic climate and increased caution from banks has left some nurseries unable to expand in the past few years. Katy Morton finds indications that things may be improving

Families with children under five will be able to claim up to 1,200 per child a year in tax-free childcare through a scheme announced by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister today.

Around 240,000 new primary school places are needed by 2014/15 to meet increased demand, according to new research by the National Audit Office.

The trial of a new programme to support children aged between six months and five-years-old at risk of recurring abuse has received more than 1m in lottery funding.

Denise Burke, director of social enterprise United for All Ages, called on the Government yesterday to introduce an online account for all parents to pay for registered childcare.

Childcare Champions, a campaign website, has launched three weeks before the Budget when a major Government announcement is expected on childcare funding.

KIDS, a charity for disabled children and young people, has launched a free suite of resources to support families in the move to personal budgets.