Middlesbrough has been named as the worst area in the country for the number of children who are ill prepared for starting school.
The town led in the Ofsted findings, with South Tyneside emerging second.
The report from the Policy Exchange found parents living in the most deprived parts of the country receive the poorest childcare, leaving youngstest ill equipped for full-time education.
The report says that the gap between childcare in rich and poor areas needs to be reduced.
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Durham Constabulary are continuing to investigate the death of a 16-year-old boy after he was hit by a van.
The Tyne and Wear Metro is to receive £12m of investment although services will be disrupted as upgrade works are carried out.
Police officers had to sweep away shards of broken glass, after fly tippers left rubbish strewn along a 100m stretch of road.