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Paperwork costs childcare providers more than £17m a year, a Government review into cutting red tape has found.

Ofsted is to collect additional evidence on behaviour as part of inspections to find out how the early years affect later attitudes to learning at school.

The gap between the quality of early years provision in poorer areas of the country and the more affluent has narrowed during Sir Michael Wilshaw's time as chief inspector.

The sector has called into question the effectiveness of Ofsted’s inspection regime following a TV report revealing safeguarding and health and safety failings at a nursery rated Good.

The proportion of nurseries and childminders judged Good or Outstanding at their latest inspection now stands at 91 per cent - the best ever recorded.

A ‘rogue’ Ofsted report which downgraded an Outstanding nursery to ‘inadequate’ has been ruled unlawful and ordered to be deleted by a high court judge.

Controversy over the use of plug socket covers in early years settings has arisen again following a Department of Health safety alert.

Early years settings will need a safeguarding lead practitioner on duty whenever they are open, Ofsted has said.

The first childminder agency to be assessed under the controversial childminder agency initiative has had its inspection report published.

Amanda Spielman will be Ofsted’s next chief inspector, the Government has confirmed.

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