UK & World News
Parents Able To Compare Nurseries Online
Parents will be able to go online from today to compare nurseries and childminders in their area.
Ofsted's website will contain information on different pre-school providers to help families decide where to send their children.
It will mean that an individual can compare how many nurseries and childminders rated good or outstanding there are in any given area.
The move comes as ministers publish details of how much money each local council in England will get to provide early-years education for around 130,000 disadvantaged two-year-olds from next September.
Under the current system, three and four-year-olds in England are entitled to 15 hours of free nursery education each week.
Ministers have previously announced plans to extend this to the most disadvantaged two-year-olds.
The Department for Education (DfE) says councils will receive more than half a billion pounds to fund the new places.
Each one will receive an average of £5.09 per child per hour, which they will be expected to pass on to schools, nurseries and childminders, the DfE said.
The department said it was urging councils to raise awareness of the places so families take advantage of the offer.
In future, they wll be funded on a "use it or lose it basis", the DfE said, with less money going to areas where there is a lower take-up.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "From 2013, 130,000 of the most disadvantaged two-year-olds will be eligible for 15 hours of free childcare a week, with double that number set to benefit the following year.
"Today we're letting local authorities know the money they will receive to offer these free places and make a huge difference to hard-pressed families.
"Good quality childcare gives children a head start even before they walk through the school gates for the first time. No child should miss out on this just because of the circumstances of their birth."