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

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.

Child detention is to be phased out and will end completely by next May, deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.

Gifts sent by retailers and royalty for David Cameron's new daughter Florence cannot be given to her under new rules, said the Independent. Presents accepted by Government members have to be paid for, and items sent by Marks and Spencer and Huggababy are being 'held by the department', as the Camerons have not stumped up the cash.