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The Booktrust charity, which provides free books to every baby and all five- and 11-year-olds, has had its annual budget of 13m cut by the Government.

Ministers are asking for voluntary organisations, charities and local communities to contribute to a consultation on developing a long-term strategy to end child poverty.

The coalition Government says it will be announcing its plans in the new year to develop early years workforce leaders.

The next issue of Nursery World will be published on 6 January.

Children at Little Acorns in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, got hands-on with a builders' tray filled with cous cous grains.

Early years initiatives, such as Sure Start and the free entitlement for three-and four-year-olds, have not improved children's literacy and numeracy by the time they start school, according to new research.

Some early years and childcare qualifications will continue to be offered until January 2012, after the CWDC confirmed that it is extending the deadline for current qualifications by a year.

Revised guidance and a multimedia resource for Scottish practitioners working with parents from pregnancy, and with babies and children under three, is being unveiled on Wednesday.

Restrictions aimed at preventing sexualised products from being targeted at children are to be considered as part of a new Government review.

Improving the life chances of children under five is the key to ensuring that the children of poor parents do not grow up to be poor adults, the Government's poverty adviser Frank Field has said.