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Eligibility for the free early years entitlement for two-year-olds under Universal Credit
There is an overwhelming evidence base from this country that shows high quality early education has long lasting benefits for children, and that children from disadvantaged backgrounds stand to benefit from it most.
But we also know that children from low income families are far less likely to access formal early education than children from more affluent backgrounds.
This is why in 2013 the Government introduced 15 hours a week of free early years provision for disadvantaged two-year-olds in England. We are committed to maintaining this entitlement, in order to improve outcomes and help close emerging development gaps.
At the same time, Universal Credit is reshaping the welfare system. This consultation seeks views on making a necessary change to the eligibility criteria for the free entitlement for two-year-olds following the introduction of Universal Credit, to ensure that we continue to reach the children who need the entitlement most.
In proposing these new criteria, we are committed to ensuring that the new arrangements are fair, consistent and simple to deliver.