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Nurseries are increasingly seeking legal advice to support them in their challenge against Ofsted inspections.

The Welsh Assembly has published its first early years and childcare plan, detailing ways in which it will support families and young children over the next ten years.

The education and childcare minister Elizabeth Truss has suggested that parents who use childminder agencies will have to pay a fee.

Ireland's childcare system is to undergo major reform following a television programme that revealed below-standard care and mistreatment of children at some of the country's nurseries.

The early years and childcare sector may have won the battle against plans to change childcare ratios, but the focus will now shift to the other childcare reforms set out in More Great Childcare.

The early years sector has slammed the Department for Education's (DfE) financial analysis of the ratio proposals as a 'fantasy'.

There are more than 1,000 fewer childminders registered with Ofsted than there were six months ago, and the number of places has also fallen slightly, according to the latest figures released by the inspectorate.

There has been a mixed response from the early years sector to Ofsted's proposals to increase the frequency of inspections for weaker settings and replace the grade of 'satisfactory' with 'requires improvement'.

In future, early years settings will have four years to reach a good grade or face being closed down by Ofsted.

The Government is consulting on reforms which will change how free nursery places are funded and reduce the role of LAs while increasing Ofsted's power.

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