Research and analysis

Towards universal early years provision: analysis of take-up by disadvantaged families from recent annual childcare surveys

Study looking at how the take-up of early years provision varies by different dimensions of disadvantage.

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There is a lot of research evidence showing that receiving good quality early years education is associated with improved outcomes for children’s development, and is particularly beneficial for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. There is also evidence showing that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to attend early years education settings and thus to receive the benefits of it.

There have been a number of policy strategies and initiatives since the late 1990s aiming to change this situation and to enable more children, and disadvantaged children in particular, to participate in early years education.

This study aims to analyse how the take-up of early years provision varies by different dimensions of disadvantage and the main barriers experienced by disadvantaged families.

The data used is from the 2008 and 2009 surveys in the childcare and early years survey of parents series, which were carried out by the National Centre for Social Research on behalf of the Department for Education.

Published 26 November 2010