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Only £0.25m of early years and childcare money spent on those most in need.

Only £0.25m of early years and childcare money spent on those most in need.

Children from families most in need will receive a startlingly low proportion of government spending on early years education and childcare, a report warns.

The report, which was published on Thursday by Labour MP Lucy Powell and the Social Market Foundation (SMF), found that a mere £250m worth of the extra £9bn of spending over the next five years will reach the most disadvantaged UK families.

It also found that the government’s new childcare spending will largely be enjoyed by the wealthiest parts of the population. The SMF figures showed that around 75% of the spending will go to families in the top half of the population by income.

The report in particular criticises the government’s 30-hour-a-week offer for free childcare for infants aged three and four years, which is to begin operating nationally next month.

Powell said: “With a singular focus on early years policies which subsidise the already well-off, the government is leaving disadvantaged children lagging further and further behind.”

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