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FOLLOW MNHQ's TWEETS Keep in touch with what's happening on Mumsnet by following tweets from the Towers on your computer or mobile.

Hello from MNHQ...

Where we're poised with our clipboards for the grand unveiling of our 2009 Mumsnet Census. We'd be ever so grateful if you could spare a few moments to fill it in – so grateful, in fact, that we'll enter you into an especially prize-tastic draw for a fab family break to Villars Gryon in Switzerland, a Merlin Family Pass or an 02 Joggler.

Thank you to everyone who's sent in giggle (and groan)-worthy nominations for Britain's best children's jokes. Nominations are now closed but sponsors Kinder have drawn up a sniggersome shortlist - and we'd love you to ask your children to vote for their favourite.

Right, diaries out for two live webchats not to be missed. This Friday (12 June, 1-2pm), family-travel expert Will Gray will be sharing his credit-crunch secrets for UK holidays. And next Tuesday (16 June, 1-2pm), novelist Patrick Gale, author of Notes From An Exhibition and new book The Whole Day Through, will be shooting the literary breeze.

Now for this week's parenting news ...

Home educators must register: The government is to announce plans to force every parent in the country who home educates their child to register with their local authority, in a move that has been condemned by families who opt out of traditional schooling. Currently, 20,000 children are registered with local authorities as home educated, but the actual number could be as high as 50,000, as parents who have never sent their child to school are not compelled to tell the authorities. Fiona Nicholson of the support group Education Otherwise called the move "an extraordinary invasion of the family". (Guardian 11.06.09)

Big drop in childminders: New figures reveal there are 10,000 fewer registered childminders in the UK than there were six years ago, and that numbers are declining rapidly. At least one in seven childminders has left the job since 2003, figures released in Parliament suggest; numbers are down from 70,000 in 2003 to 60,900 in March this year, and the last 12 months alone have seen a loss of 4,000 childminders. Emma Knights of the Daycare Trust said the drop could be because more parents were opting for nursery care, and said that, taking all childcare into account, there were places available. (Guardian 08.06.09)

Other stories in brief

HUNS ALERT! A little pushchair birdie tells us there's a Bugaboo warehouse sale (up to 70% off) under London's Vauxhall railway bridge on Fri 26 June, noon to 6pm, and Sat 27 June, 9am-5pm at The Beaconsfield, 22 Newport St, London SE11 6AY. Better Gecko-ver there, sharpish!

Hot threads

Competitions

This week's prizes are:

It's easy to enter (and keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name has come out of the hat). 

CHANGE YOUR WORLD Swap just one car trip between 29 June and 4 July '09 and walk, cycle, use public transport or car-share instead. If we all take this one small action together we'll cut car traffic by 10%. Take your first step now at www.changeyourworld.org.uk and for a chance to win great prizes.

Quote of the week

othersideofthefence berates her husband for his surrealistic take on 'sorting the ironing backlog': "I was expecting to go upstairs and find it all done. Imagine my delight at finding... you had actually bought me an extra laundry basket, so (and I quote) 'you don't need to worry about the unironed clothes overflowing now'."

Looking for somewhere to take the kids? Mumsnetters suggest:

Find more Mumsnetter recommendations for great days out near you in Mumsnet Local

Aitch's TV round-up: May Contain Nuts, Thurs 11 June, ITV1, 9pm
This may hinge on whether you like grumpy old man John O'Farrell or not because it's a drama adapted from his book about just how kerrrraaaazy people (in London, I hardly need add) are prepared to go to get their children into top schools. It stars Shirley Henderson, who is not overly convincing as a mum of two but there is a Reason For That as you will find out. It's amusing in a boggle-eyed sort of a way and, if you have children at school, you may recognise some of the characters. Although if you do, you have my deepest sympathy...

Blog of the week: Random Thoughts About Parenting
bluedogs washes her dirty-linen thoughts in public: "I am beginning to get worried with quite how much emotion I invest in my laundry. Lots of clean dry clothing put away = happy. Wet clothing clinging to radiators = deeply unhappy....
Bursting to blog? Why not start your own?

Recipe of the week: fairylights' Seafood Lasagne
Don't tell anyone but this complicated-looking fishy crowd-pleaser is, in fact, is a gloriously simple mix-it-all-up-and-stick-it-in-the-oven job (and you can choose fish that are in season).
Serve with a green salad and an impressively nonchalant look.
Review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's all, we're off to buy another laundry basket...
Love,
Mumsnet Towers

ONLY 10 DAYS TILL FATHER'S DAY! If you need gift inspiration for the dad in your life, check out other Mumsnetters' recommendations in our Gifts For Dad Product Reviews.

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