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Children: Day Care

Question for Department for Education

UIN 158281, tabled on 27 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education; how many households are eligible for 15 hours of free childcare for two-year-old children in each English region; how many households have applied to that scheme since that scheme was introduced; how many of those households have been accepted; and how many households have received 15 hour free childcare two-year-old in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Answered on

4 July 2018

15 hours of free early years education for disadvantaged 2 year olds was introduced in September 2013.

The number of 2 year olds eligible was extended in September 2014 to children in low-income families, children with a statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan, children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance and children who are no longer looked after by a local authority as a result of an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order which specifies who the child will live with. In April 2018, the eligibility criteria for which 2 year olds can benefit from a funded early education place were changed to reflect the introduction and roll-out of Universal Credit.

The number of eligible 2 year olds and the number of 2 year olds benefitting from up to 15 hours’ funded early education are shown in the table. The number of households who applied and the number of households who were successful are not available. This is because data is not collected per household, and therefore the number of households who applied and the number of households who were successful cannot be provided. Figures dating back to 2014 can be found in the ‘Provision for children under 5 years of age in England, January 2018’ statistics publication which was published on 28 June 2018. This is available here:

Number of 2-year-old children1 eligible
and number benefitting from up to 15 hours
funded early education at January 2018, by region

Number eligible2

Number benefitting




North East



North West



Yorkshire and The Humber



East Midlands



West Midlands



East of England






South East



South West



Source: Early Years Census, School Census and School Level Annual School Census

(1) Count of children aged 2 at 31 December in the previous calendar year.

(2) Universal Credit is being rolled out throughout the country on a staged basis. Eligibility criteria for funded education for 2 year-olds includes those children whose parents are in receipt of Universal Credit in 2018, however the numbers are estimated to be small and these children are not included in the eligibility estimates. Children of Universal Credit claimants will be included in future years.

Numbers of children eligible have been rounded to the nearest 100 and numbers benefitting have been rounded to the nearest 10.