This is extra funding for early years providers to help support children with identified special educational needs or disabilities. It helps your child to access free early education places by supporting providers to make reasonable adjustments to their settings.

Who can make a claim?

Early years providers that are registered to supply free early years education to 3 and 4 year olds can apply for the extra funding if the child attending their setting is:

4 year olds in reception school classes are not eligible for DAF funding and children become eligible for free early education at different points in the year depending on when they turn 3.

Your provider can not apply for DAF if they have already applied for early years inclusion funding on behalf of the child.

What can the money be used for?

All registered early years providers who deliver free early education will be able to access the payment of £800 per year for each eligible child.

DAF payments could be spent on equipment, resources or making reasonable adjustments to the setting, and providers are expected to spend the full amount on the child. If the equipment or adjustment costs more, providers are expected to fund this gap.

DAF should not be used to provide any additional staffing or assessments to support the child.  

How to apply

Providers can apply for a DAF payment at any point in the academic year. If your child is attending multiple settings to access their free hours you'll need to choose which setting to allocate the payment.

Your provider will give you a parent declaration form to complete, which you should return along with proof of your child's DLA.

Speak to your chosen childcare provider if you want to explore this funding with them.

Childcare providers can find more information on how to apply at the early years portal (a network for childcare professionals).

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Page was last updated on: 05/12/2023 10:55:56