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A nursery in Widnes has expanded with the opening of a second setting after receiving a £75,000 grant from the Merseyside Jobs and Growth Fund (MJGF), which has more than £2m of funding available still for established businesses from the Liverpool City Region looking to expand.

A toothbrushing programme in early years settings has made children less reluctant to clean their teeth.

New research, which suggests brain tests at the age of three can predict a child’s life chances, highlights the value of early intervention.

Settings wishing to become more environmentally-friendly can now access an early years themed eco pack with resources on sustainability.

A charity has warned that tackling children's taste for sugar and junk food will be a ‘public health test like no other’.

The Government’s plans to extend the free childcare offer for all three- and four-year-olds in England from 15 to 30 hours a week for children in working families from September 2017 are ‘only likely to increase parental employment slightly’, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

Through all the debate around 30 hours, one thing has remained constant.

Despite some early years providers and sector organisations remaining concerned following the Department for Education’s publication of the new Early Years National Funding Formula, there are indications that childminders may be feeling more upbeat.

Ofsted is to collect additional evidence on behaviour as part of inspections to find out how the early years affect later attitudes to learning at school.

Nurseries across the country are being hit by cuts to funding and increased costs, leading many to close ahead of the introduction of the 30 free hours.

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