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Special Educational Needs (SEN) Inclusion and Disability Access Funding

2, 3 and 4 year olds with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) may be eligible for additional funding to support them to access an early education or childcare provider.  The additional funding available is:

  • Special Educational Needs (SEN) Inclusion Funding for 2, 3 and 4 year olds
  • Disability Access Funding for 3 and 4 year olds

SEN Inclusion Fund for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

The Early Years Special Educational Needs (SEN) Inclusion Fund is to support 2, 3 and 3 year olds who take up their free education entitlement, and have a lower level or emerging SEN. The funding is for use by, and in, the early years provision.

It is designed to support early years providers working with children in the short term as part of a cycle of targeted support and coordinated intervention. Targeted interventions must be implemented with full consent of parents. 

If your child is accessing their free education entitlement and has moderate to severe developmental needs, particularly in the areas of communication and social interaction, then your early years provider may talk to you about applying for the Inclusion Fund in order for them to support your child more effectively.  All funding will be paid to the provider directly to allow them to  buy in extra support, training or equipment to best meet your child’s needs. Settings must have the full consent of the child’s parents before introducing targeted interventions for your child.

Please talk to your early years providers Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) for more information.

Disability Access Funding (DAF) for 3 and 4 year olds

Three and four year olds will be eligible for the DAF if they meet the following criteria:

• the child is in receipt of child Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and;

• the child receives free early education from the term after the third birthday.

Children do not have to take up the full 570 hours of early education they are entitled to in order to receive the DAF. Children in receipt of the DAF will be eligible where they take-up any period of free entitlement, but the DAF can only be paid to one provider during the financial year.

Please note that four-year olds in primary school reception classes are not eligible for DAF funding.

Your early years provider will confirm the process for application, confirm eligibility and how they will use the DAF to support your child in provision by for example by making adjustments to the learning environment or purchasing resources such as sensory equipment.



Early years funding film for children with SEND

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