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MY FAVOURITE TV THEMES - For the first time ever get all the biggest pre-school themes including LazyTown, Teletubbies, Dora the Explorer, plus many more in one great looking package - My favourite TV Themes! The package also includes a bonus disc of sing a-long versions - perfect for those long car journeys! Click here for more details.

Greetings from Mumsnet HQ,

Practical Parenting

On Tuesday we were delighted to welcome Lord Darzi, the man who is currently leading the Government's review of the NHS, on for a chat and a cuppa. If you missed it, get to grips with his thoughts on polyclinics, medical records and the constant reorganisation of the NHS here.

Don't forget to check out Mumsnet blogs and if you've yet to "put pen to paper" start one yourself. This week our featured blogger, Samantha Smythe (the alter ego of Lucy Cavendish) reveals how she really feels about having a girl after four boys.

Finally, it's competition time and we've got an entire cyber world and a full house clean up for grabs - whatever next?

And now for this week's parenting news ...

Loans on the up for school fees: Middle-class parents are increasingly taking out loans to fund school fees as the credit crunch bites, according to a report from Sainsbury's Finance. It says as many as 18,000 people took out loans to cover education costs last year and it expects the figure to be even higher this year as families struggle to cope with a sharp rise in the cost of living. School fees rose by an average of 6.2 per cent last year to £11,250 per year, according to the Independent Schools Council - more than double the official rate of inflation. Over the past decade remortgaging or drawing against the equity in a family home was one of the most popular ways to pay for school fees, thanks to rising house prices - but this has now become more difficult as the property market is turning down. (Times 09.06.08)

UK 'demonising' kids: British children are being 'demonised' by a society that is locking too many of them up, according to a joint report by the UK children's commissioners. They said attitudes towards youngsters were hardening. Despite the fact that child crime fell between 2002 and 2006, more children were being taken to court and criminalised. They also said the poverty experienced by one in three youngsters was unacceptable for a rich nation. More children were scared in their neighbourhoods, more drank alcohol, more had deteriorating mental health and more felt pressurised at school. (BBC Online 09.06.08)

Other stories in brief

Having a caesarean section does not raise the risk of stillbirth in a subsequent pregnancy, a study has found - but whether a mother is obese could be a key factor (BBC Online 06.06.08); teenagers may need a booster dose of meningitis C vaccine, doctors said this week after finding that immunity can fall over time (BBC Online 06.06.08); embryo chromosome screening doesn't improve the chances of IVF success and should not be offered to women undergoing the treatment, according to expert guidelines published this week (BBC Online 12.06.08); and more than 4,000 Chinese children have been named Aoyun, meaning Olympic Games, in the run-up to the August games in Beijing (BBC Online 11.06.08).

ONLINE CHAT WITH SHEHERAZADE GOLDSMITH - You magazine eco columnist and editor of a Slice of Organic Life, Sheherazade Goldsmith, will be joining us for an online chat to share her green tips on Wednesday June 18th from 1-2pm. Sheharazade is launching the Peter Rabbit Naturally Better initiative which sees the well-loved Beatrix Potter creation become the first ever licensed character to go green. To find out more and post questions in advance click here.

Hot threads

Quote of the week

By Serin on the definition of normal: "At three and a half my son managed his longest ever sentence, it was seven words long.....'I don't like you Mrs Speech Therapist'........We were so proud!!!"

Looking for somewhere to take the children? Mumsnetters recommend:

Aitch's TV round-up: My Child Won't Eat, ITV, 16th June 9pm

Let's be honest, the reason we like these programmes is that they allow us to feel like we are making less of an unholy mess of dragging up our children than we thought. Hoorah! Plus, this one's on ITV so it won't even be bound down by the calmingly ethical (aka spoilsporty) presence of Dr Tanya. ITV wants us to judge, and so, hypnotised by the flickering screen, we must. Read more here.

THE BIG BUG HUNT - Calling all play leaders... Have you seen cheeky bug? Take part in the Big Bug Hunt in September & October 2008 and help track him down. To receive your free pack including stickers, activity sheets, bug templates and loads more visit or phone 0117 373 73 73.

Blog post of the week

Bluedogs on her hatred of laundry: "I hate the fact that I aspire to a utility room. No longer do I need a Room of My Own in the Virginia Woolf fashion for creativey and contemplation. I would just love a room to have all the domestic applainces in so I don't have to look at them."

Carmenere's Recipe Of The Week - 2handsomeboy's home-made banana cake.

It is father's day on Sunday and nothing says 'I love you daddy' more than home-made banana cake; well that was the result of an, admittedly short, survey of daddies in the Carmenere household. So this recipe from 2handsomeboys was chosen for its child-friendly bish-bash-bosh-ness. Perfect for a first foray into cooking, it won't disappoint either child or dad.

Right, that's your lot for this week. We're off to google cyber worlds.

Mumsnet Towers

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