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Beverley Hughes (Analysis, 23 November) seems to have deliberately avoided the main issue of the NurseryEducation Grant being insufficient to cover the costs of providing free entitlement. I doubt if there would be much of a problem with the free entitlement if this issue was addressed, instead of the Government trying to make worthy noises about ensuring that all parents are able to access it and at the same time expecting private providers to subsidise their policies.

Childcare enquiries tripled in children's centres when a dedicated member of staff from the Children's Information Service was based there for several days a week, a study has found. An evaluation was carried out on pilots set up by Opportunity Links in 23 children's centres from May 2005 to September 2006, to find out the most effective way of providing information and advice on childcare to families in Leicester, Sheffield, Rotherham, Cornwall and Somerset.

The 'very best thing to be in the whole world' is a celebrity, according to a poll of 2,500 children aged under ten reported in the Independent. Good looks and being rich were rated second and third. Being God came tenth, although he gained the top spot...

The enforcement of new childcare regulations in Ireland has been postponed until next September because many daycare settings were in breach of new staffing ratios and police vetting procedures were not in place. The decision to put back implementation from January followed representations made by the National Children's Nurseries Association (NCNA) to allow its members more time to make the necessary changes.

Explore feelings and promote sharing with cuddly activities from Helen Shelbourne inspired by a classic children's book Acharming story with a variety of themes that can be developed in children's play is TheLost Ears by Phillida Gili (Boxer Books, 10.99, 25th anniversary edition).

Early years organisations from Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic have joined forces to launch the All-Ireland Centre of Excellence Awards. The initiative by the Northern Ireland early years organisation NIPPA and the National Children's Day Nurseries Association (NCNA) in the republic is the first time that common standards have been developed for early years providers across Ireland.

Some food for thought in your professional career Mentoring in the Early Years Edited by Alison Robins (Paul Chapman Publishing, 16.99, 020 7324 8703) Reviewed by Kay Jaques, manager of children's centres

Researchers are attempting to discover how being exposed to peanuts in infancy, or avoiding them, affects a child's risk of developing a peanut allergy. Scientists from King's College London, launching the Learning Early About Peanut allergies (LEAP) study, have begun a two-year recruitment drive to find 480 children aged between four and 11 months who are already suffering from eczema or egg allergy. These children have a higher risk of developing peanut allergy.

Does EYP stand for Excluding Your Professionals? While I agree with improving daycare practice, I am not at all confident that EYP status will achieve this.

I can't help but feel Judith Baxter (Letters, 16 November) hasn't quite grasped the implications of what the new code of practice will do for some of us. As she points out, having a separate room helps them operate a slightly different system to have funded children in one room and non-funded children in another. Is that not providing a two-tier system?

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