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As part of her research, Jo has devised a set of number games for pre-school children known as PLUS, to help them to learn maths skills. These have been piloted with six local nurseries.

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

The Stop, Listen, Consult petition has been signed by nearly 4,000 people and calls for the Department for Education to reconsider plans in More Great Childcare.

A new Department for Education survey asking parents for their opinions on staff:child ratios has raised concern among the sector that there will be a renewed push for a relaxation.

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

Cherie Blair is calling for a Government strategy towards universal pre-school childcare with the ultimate aim of childcare for all parents, whatever their background and the age of their children.

The Pre-school Learning Alliance has published two free guides to support early years settings with their Ofsted inspections and the complaints process.

Research interviews began last week with families taking part in one of the largest ever Government-funded studies into early years education.

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.

Ofsted's new early years inspection framework, which comes into force on 4 November, will focus on safeguarding, safety and teaching.