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Disability Access Fund

Last Updated 10/07/2019

From April 2017, the Government introduced new funding for Early Years childcare providers to enable them to offer more places to young children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). This funding is called the Disability Access Fund (DAF). The DFA is available to Early Years childcare settings and can be used, for example, to support them with making reasonable adjustments to their provision.

Three and four-year old children may be eligible for the DAF if they meet the following criteria:

  • The child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and
  • The child receives universal or extended free early education and childcare entitlement.

Although the DAF is awarded per eligible child, applications must be made by the Early Years provider. Parents may encourage settings to do so, and must add their consent before an application can be made. 

If a child who is eligible for DAF, is splitting their universal hours across two or more providers, the parent must nominate one of the settings to receive the DAF funding as this cannot be split. 

The DAF is payable as a lump sum once a year per eligible child.

Value of the funding: Funding is paid at the fixed annual rate of £615 per eligible child.

For more information on the Disability Access Fund, please download this information pack. 

Eligibility Checking

The local authority must check that the Disability Access Fund eligibility requirements are met and would need to be satisfied the child in question is receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA). We will need to see evidence of the child’s DLA.

  • Providers must e-mail a copy of the DLA award letter and signed Parent Declaration form (with DAF section completed)
  • The title of your email should be: Disability Access Fund Application

Once the application has been approved the provider will be notified by email, they will then be able to mark the child as eligible for DAF on their next headcount return and the funding will then be processed for payment.



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