Doubling Down

Children trapped in poverty are locked out of 30 Hours of Funding

Currently, children trapped in poverty are locked out of 30 hours of Government-funded early education – as evidenced by the Sutton Trust report in August 2021.

In response to witnessing children arriving at nursery “hungry, anxious and developmentally delayed” as a result of living in poverty and exacerbated by Covid-19 lockdowns, in October 2020 we offered a lifeline of 15 extra hours in nursery, plus a daily hot meal.

These additional hours resulted in significant progress in children’s learning and development, across both personal, social and emotional development (PSED) as well as their communication and language skills. This offer also helped struggling families stay afloat and improve mental health.

Read our report to find out more about the impact of “Doubling Down” on the Government entitlements.


This report adds to the growing body of evidence calling for expanded access to 30 hours of funded early education and care to ALL children.

We are calling on both the Government and global investors to provide £165m of urgent funding to bridge the initial shortfall and widen access to the current 30 hours offer. Without this, the progress in closing attainment gaps between disadvantaged children and their peers will diminish, with potentially devastating consequences for the 1.3 million children aged under 5 who live in poverty in the UK.

We already know that there are even more children that could benefit from being part of another “Doubling Down” programme. To help us make this possible and to improve the opportunities for the children that are excluded from this vital funding, please get in touch with us at to explore how you can help make a difference.

With special thanks to Barclays and Permira Foundation for their generous support in funding the programme.

How did a lifeline of 15 extra hours impact your nursery?

In these videos, our nursery managers share about the impact of the Doubling Down programme in their nurseries. As well as the impact on children and parents, the programme also benefitted nursery staff. They valued having more time with the children, had increased confidence in supporting children with Special Educational Needs, and experienced an overall increase in job satisfaction.