A £2-billion-a-year program to provide free childcare is failing to have a long-term impact on education standards in Britain. According to the country’s National Audit Office (NAO), there has been no improvement in results for seven-year-olds in recent years, despite the introduction of flagship reforms to give all preschoolers access to weekly nursery sessions. Noting that children’s development at the age of five had improved recently, the lack of improvement for seven-year-olds led the NAO to recommend a more thorough assessment of the system to “get the best return for children” from the billions spent on the reforms.
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