Evidence suggests that children from less advantaged backgrounds currently start primary school up to 19 months behind their peers. In 21st century Britain this is unacceptable. That is why I am delighted to announce the extension this week of 15 hours of free early education to the 40 per cent of most disadvantaged two year olds, to help them fulfil their potential in life. Already 116,000 two-year olds benefit from this free childcare, and from this week more than 260,000 children will be eligible, including 2,900 in Surrey. This is an important step that will help ensure that, whatever their background, the next generation will receive the best possible start in life.