A study looking at the correlation between free nursery care for three-year-olds and primary school results has shown surprising results.
Researchers at Essex and Surrey universities compared the results of primary school students in areas with and without free nursery care, which showed that the policy has no effect on academic grades at ages seven and eleven.
The study looked at three million children between 2002 and 2007. It highlighted that at age five, those who were entitled to free nursery care had average scores of 89 per cent in reading and maths, compared to 87.7 per cent in those without. However, this difference in grades was no longer apparent in later years.
Researchers noted that the results were surprising, especially considering that other studies have shown that additional nurturing from an early age can boost a child's brain growth.