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 funding 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.

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  www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits

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

Early Years Access Funding

Early Years Access Funding (EYAF) is intended for non-maintained settings (playgroups, nurseries and network childminders) to meet the needs of pre-school children, over two years old, who have special educational needs and disabilities and need additional adult support.

Requests for funding are made by the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) from the setting, following consultation and agreement with you and with help and support from pre-school teachers and other educational and health professionals.

Criteria for Early Years Access Funding

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Changes to Early Years Access Funding

Early Years Access Funding has provided funding for additional adult support for children with special educational needs and disabilities in early years and childcare settings who need additional adult support.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Reforms (Children’s & Families Act 2014) brings a new approach to supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities. The new Education, Health and Care Plan can support children from birth to 25 years. This means that very young children will have their needs identified through the Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment. Any funding required to meet the identified needs would be provided through the Education, Health and Care Plan.

Therefore the Early Years Access Funding budget currently allocated to settings will be replaced over two years by the statutory support offered through the Education, Health and Care Plan.

What does this mean for settings and families?

  • This supports a move from funding children in early year’s settings with complex Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) through Early Years Access Funding to funding through Education, Health and Care Plans by 2018.
  • The introduction from April 2016, for two years until 2018, of a limit on the maximum amount of hours per week (15 hours) the Local Authority funds per child through the Early Years Access Funding unless the child is eligible for free school meals, when the maximum would be 30 hours.

For children currently in receipt of Early Years Access Funding these changes will not apply. The current funding allocated will continue until the agreed funding period expires. At this point the new scheme would come into effect.

For new Early Years Access Funding applications received after 1st April 2016 the new funding arrangement will apply.

For further information regarding the Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment and Education, Health and Care Plan please contact The Statutory Assessment & Resources Team on 01480 372 600 or via email, [email protected]. You may also call the SEN Casework Officer duty line on 01223 699 362. 

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. 

Childcare Access Funding guidance

Size: 41.57 KB File format: pdf

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