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An Essex nursery that looked set to lose out on 1.2m from the Early Years Capital Grant has been told that the local authority will honour its contract and provide the funding.

All of the play services in a large London borough could be axed in council spending cuts.

Campaigners have succeeded in winning a reprieve for a council-run nursery in Brighton, after more than 5,000 people signed a petition to save it.

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.

Nurseries, pre-schools, children's centres and schools are invited to enter the Elizabeth Jarman 2011 Award in search of the setting which best demonstrates how the Communication Friendly Spaces approach has supported children's speaking and listening skills, emotional well-being and general engagement.

Nurseries in Hertfordshire have warned that they may be forced to pull out of the free entitlement scheme for three- and four-year-olds in April if they are not allowed to charge top-up fees.

Sure Start provision in the London borough of Barnet could be cut by almost a third.

Three-year-old Nell from the nursery at the Eureka! national children's museum in Halifax, West Yorkshire, explores the setting's new natural play area at an open day last weekend.

Details of the Early Intervention Grant, designed to provide universal and specialist services for children, young people and families, have been set out by the Government.