Skip to main content

Children: Day Care

Question for Department for Education

UIN 130728, tabled on 2 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many two year-old children were eligible for childcare places for disadvantaged two-year olds in each of the last five years.

Answered on

7 March 2018

The estimated number of two-year-olds eligible for 15 hours of free early education is shown in the table below:

Two-year-old eligible population estimates[1]


Years: 2015 -2017


Eligible two-year-olds







Source: Department for Work and Pensions estimates of eligible population

We do not hold an estimate for the eligible population prior to 2015. This is because the entitlement to 15 hours of free early education for disadvantaged two-year-olds was introduced in September 2013 and extended in September 2014. The January 2015 early years census, the first census following the extension, was the first to record the eligible population.

[1] The estimated number of eligible two-year-olds is based on analysis of administrative data held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) containing information on benefit and tax credit records relating to November each year.

The estimate is therefore based on the benefit and tax credit eligibility criteria only. The following non-economic eligibility criteria are not covered: children with a current statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care plan; children who are looked after by a local authority; children who are no longer looked after by the local authority as a result of an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order which specifies with whom the child lives. Two-year-olds from families in receipt of Universal Credit are also not included in the published figures.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.