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CHILDCARE VOUCHERS: DON'T MISS OUT! From 6th April, you could miss out on up to £600 of tax and NI savings that you're currently entitled to. But if you join a childcare voucher scheme now, you'll continue to save up to £1,195 on your childcare costs each year.
Hello from Mumsnet Towers...
In the webchat hotseat on Tuesday lunchtime (22 March, 12.30-1.30pm) is shadow health minister Diane Abbott. She wants to hear your views on the way the government's changing the NHS (thread opening soon).
Oh, and if you've been on the piste (no, we're talking snow now, not wine) do upload a Ski Review for us all to read enviously.
Now for this week's parenting news...
Overhaul for special educational needs support: Parents of children with special educational needs are be given more scope to direct their children's care. The government is planning to replace the current complex system of 'statements of need' with a simpler, more family-friendly assessment. (Guardian 08.03.11; join the discussion on Talk)
Primary-school children exposed to 'explicit' sex advice: Children as young as five are being exposed to "shocking" sex education books in primary schools, according to the Christian Institute. The charity, which promotes biblical teaching, says parents are being kept in the dark about the content of resources used in sex-education lessons. (Telegraph 09.03.11; join the discussion on Talk)
BLUEY AND DINGO'S OUTBACK ADVENTURE. Beautifully illustrated in colour over 40 pages, Bluey and Dingo's Outback Adventure follows the exciting story of a man who travels into the Outback to save a sick camel. But when his Jeep crashes, Bluey and his pet dingo are left stranded in the desert...
Other stories in brief
Quote of the week: foundwanting confesses her strangest habit: "I do like to step from side to side, blocking the cat's progress, while saying, 'You first. No, please, you go first. Really, I insist.'"
Try your luck with our March competitions. Here's what you could win:
Don't forget to keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name comes out of the hat...
BABIES: A LOOK AT ONE YEAR IN THE LIFE OF FOUR BABIES AROUND THE WORLD, from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo. Babies plunges you into the heart of four different cultures and seizes the most touching, funny, unique and universal moments of the first steps in life.
Aitch's TV round-up: Kidult - Marathon Boy, Wednesday 16 March, BBC4, 10pm
If you have children older than eight or so, this might be an excellent family watch, because the gripping story of young Budhia Singh throws up some fascinatingly knotty ethical questions. Singh was sold to a pedlar by his mother when he was four but (for some reason) the local, self-styled King of the Slum paid 800 rupees to take the child to the orphanage he ran. One morning, the wee lad was misbehaving and was told to run round the building as a punishment - and was found still doing laps hours later. Within the year, his enterprising guardian had him complete 48 marathons, fame and fortune came calling, and politicians stepped in to protect the knackered little guy. And then..? Well, I don't want to spoil it but let's just say it's only the beginning of a distinctly sordid tale of slum life and the promise of escape...
Discuss this show (and others) on our Telly Addicts Talk board.
Recipe of the week: hopelesshousewife's Oven-baked mushroom risotto
A properly scrummy risotto with none of that boring old stirring over a hot hob. Result!
You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?
That's all from us. We're off to make sure there is enough wine left for us...
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