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Childcare funding for children with additional needs

Disability Living Allowance

This is the main source of financial support if you are living with a child with a disability. They may qualify if they have a physical disability or special educational needs, and need more help or supervision than other children of the same age.

DLA has two components: care (up to £81.30 a week) which you can claim from when your child is three months old, and mobility (up to £56.75 a week) which you can usually claim from three years. 

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

3 and 4 year olds will be eligible for DAF if they meet the following criteria:

  • The child is in receipt of child Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and;
  • The child is accessing their entitlement to free early learning and childcare

DAF is payable as a lump sum once a year. If a child in receipt of DAF is attending more than one setting, parents or carers will be asked to nominate the setting to receive the funding. Any equipment or resources purchased from the DAF will remain the property of the setting. 

Please note: 4 year olds in Reception class are not eligible for DAF funding.

To find the application form please visit the Early Years Funding Page :

Early years funding - Cambridgeshire County Council

The disabled child element of Child Tax Credit

If you are claiming DLA for your child, you may also be able to claim the disabled child element of Child Tax Credit. There are two elements: the disabled child element, which is £2100 per year for each child claiming DLA, or who is registered blind, and the severely disabled child element, an additional £1255 per year for each child who is claiming the highest rate care component of DLA. For more information go to

If your child needs extra support, your childcare provider may be able to apply for additional funding from the Local Authority.

SEN Inclusion Fund

(Previously called Early Years Access Funding)

All local authorities are required to establish an inclusion support fund for 3 and 4 year olds with SEND who are taking up the free entitlement and the new funding will replace the Early Years Access Fund (EYAF). Your childcare provider will apply for this additional funding based on the criteria and thresholds set.

(Providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEND or disabilities. These arrangements should include a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEND. (SEND Code of Practice, January 2015 update 5.4)).  Detailed Information on the SEN inclusion fund for childcare providers can be found on Learn Together.

Childcare Access Funding

Childcare Access Funding is intended to support children (aged 4 to 14+) with the very highest levels of needs at out of school hours childcare, including before and after school clubs, holiday schemes and care with childminders.

Applications for funding are made by the setting, following consultation and agreement with you and with help and support from the people working with you and your child. 

How we can help

Further information and advice about Early Years Access Funding and Childcare Access Funding is available from the Statutory Assessment & Resources Team (START).

Contact us

Statutory Assessment and Resources Team
Box SCO2209
Scott House
PE29 3AD

Telephone: 01480 372 600