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Some of the largest nursery groups in the country are concerned that a shortfall in the number of nursery places for disadvantaged two-year-olds could hamper Government plans to expand free nursery education, Nursery World has learned.

Two-thirds of children who took the pilot Phonics Screening Check for six-year-olds last summer failed the test, Department for Education statistics show.

Nine in ten family information services have had cuts to their budgets, a survey by the Daycare Trust suggests.

Three-quarters of families with disabled children suffer from mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and breakdown, according to new research.

Eight out of ten people would describe their family as not 'traditional', according to new research which suggests the family of two married parents with 2.4 children is no longer the norm.

The charity Grandparents Plus has raised concerns of a 'gap in care', as an increasing number of grandmothers looking after grandchildren will have to work until 67, following the Chancellor's announcement last week to changes to the state pension age.

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has criticised the way child poverty is measured, implying that poverty is about more than income alone.

Many disabled children fail to reach their full potential because they are marginalised in schools, health and social care, according to new research.

The early years sector has given a largely positive response to the Chancellor's announcement to extend the free entitlement to 40 per cent of two-year-olds by 2015.

The number of nursery places for two-year-olds will be extended to 40 per cent of children, from 2014-15.

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