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Providers criticise 'vague' free childcare guidance

By Gabriella Jozwiak |

24 April 2017

Guidance issued by the government on how local authorities and early years providers should manage the expanded 30 hours of free childcare being introduced in September has been criticised for being too vague.

Children's sector leaders are urging political parties to use the Prime Minister's snap general election announcement as an opportunity to prioritise children and young people's issues.

Nearly one in five nurseries set to make a loss

By Joe Lepper |

18 April 2017

The proportion of nurseries expecting to make a loss has almost doubled over the last year, a survey of providers has revealed.

The government should halt its planned introduction of 30 hours of free childcare each week in favour of a more targeted approach that benefits low income families, a think-tank has said.

Health visitor checks: Public Health England to monitor councils on delivery

By Neil Puffett and Gabriella Jozwiak |

13 April 2017

The government quango responsible for public health has pledged to ensure that local authorities fulfil their duty to provide health visitor checks for young children, in the wake of a government decision to maintain their mandatory status.

A group consultation exercise is due to launch shortly ahead of a number of redundancies within Birmingham City Council's early years services, it has emerged.

The government has doubled the amount of money it will spend on efforts to increase the number of childcare places on offer to £100m, the Department for Education has announced.

A quarter of people receiving support through the government's flagship Troubled Families programme have said they were "dissatisfied" with how easy it was to access support.

A total of £30m has been set aside to boost the life chances of children in disadvantaged families by resolving conflict among parents, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced.

Less than half of childcare providers are planning to offer the government's 30-hour free childcare initiative, a survey has revealed.