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Cash for the early years

NURSERY education and childcare have been given a pound;58 million boost. Six new early excellence centres, backed by pound;17m, were launched this week in Greenwich, Bath, Bolton, Bradford, North Tyneside and Liverpool. The Government pumped an extra pound;11m into the campaign to recruit more childcare staff - more than 500,000 peopl have responded - and won pound;30m from the European Social Fund.

Ministers want to create childcare places for an extra 1m children by March 2004, requiring 150,000 more staff. Information about childcare is available from touch-screen kiosks in Tesco supermarkets and Lloyds chemists.

Another voice, 16

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