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Pre-school Education: Disadvantaged

Question for Department for Education

UIN 48367, tabled on 12 October 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of disadvantaged two year-olds take up the free 15 hours of early education in each type of setting; and what evidence her Department has gathered on the effect of that offer on the developmental gap between disadvantaged two year-olds and their peers and (b) the comparative effect of that early education being delivered in each type of early years setting.

Answered on

21 October 2016

Information on how many and what proportion of disadvantaged two-year-olds take up the free 15 hours of early education in each type of setting is available at, and data has been presented in the attached table.

The Government is committed to ensuring that all children are able to fulfil their potential. Evidence shows that what happens in the early years of a child’s life is crucial to their future.

The Department understands that the impact of our early education entitlements is important, and commissioned a major piece of longitudinal research – the Study of Early Education and Development – to understand more about how high quality early education affects attainment and social and behavioural development up to age seven. Findings are forthcoming and will include the impact of funded early years education for two-year-olds and evidence on the effect of the policy being delivered in different types of early years settings. Findings will be published and available at:

More widely, there is a strong evidence base from the UK and around the world that shows high quality early education has long lasting benefits for children. Analysis of the evidence from ‘Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education Project’, which was published in September 2014, has shown that a child has a greater chance of getting better exam results and ultimately earning higher wages by receiving pre-school education. We also know that attending high quality pre-school from age two has a positive impact on cognitive attainment.

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