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Avoiding constructive dismissal claims is all about ensuring employees are listened to and procedures are followed, says Jacqui Mann

Name: Jo HallingPosition: Operations director, Hopscotch Children's Nurseries

The business outlook for the UK's nursery groups is looking decidedly positive, as our comprehensive, annual guide to this vital part of the sector reveals.

The number of childcare providers has fallen in the last six months, as has the number of places provided by childminders and nurseries.

The Deputy Prime Minister is expected to say this week that he believes free schools have too much freedom.

Banks are increasingly willing to fund nursery acquisitions but 'honest conversation' is needed, says Ian Murchie, relationship director at Barclays' healthcare team.

Position: Managing director of Tinies Childcare North West

Education secretary Michael Gove has mooted the possibility that changes to business rate relief and VAT for nurseries could be considered at the same time as plans being looked into for academies and free schools.

The new Ofsted inspection framework says that inspectors must keep the 'bigger picture' in mind and take into account the history of provision, including any concerns, when making their judgement.

Before deciding on whether to take disciplinary action it is important to conduct a thorough investigation, says Jacqui Mann