The 30 hours policy will save some of the poorest households £5 per week, while the richest will gain ten times that, analysis finds.
The Resolution Foundation has calculated that a minimum wage household, with one parent on full- and one on part-time hours, makes a real-terms gain of just £5 per week, or £275 a year, from the extra 15 hours.
It is nearly a tenth of the £2,500 the Government says the additional 15 hours could save parents annually (half the full £5,000 worth of 30 hours saving).
David Finch, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said while all eligible parents will save under the 30 hours, ‘it is those higher-earning families with gross earnings of £40,000 to £50,000 that stand to benefit the most’.
Families renting are also likely to benefit less than homeowners.
Natalie Perera, executive director and head of research at Education Policy Institute, said the ‘policy provides a transfer of cost from those higher-earning families to the taxpayer’.
Nursery World has also found that funds from childcare programmes in at least two local authorities targeting the most disadvantaged children are being redirected to the 30 hours scheme.
A DfE spokesperson said, ‘We are spending over £2.5bn on 15 hours of free childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds over five years. We know that the take-up of this offer is rising, with 71 per cent of disadvantaged two-year-olds accessing a place.
‘The gap between disadvantaged children and others has narrowed from 19 percentage points in 2013 to 17.3 percentage points in 2015/16.’