Support for children aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

The disability access fund (DAF) is money given to early years/childcare providers to help support children with special educational needs (SENSENSpecial Educational Needs is a term which refers to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age.) and/or disabilities in their setting.

The aim of the DAF is to help give children who are disabled access to funded childcare.

Providers will get a one-off payment at a rate set by the government.

Who can get DAF funding?

The funding is for Ofsted registered childcare settings with children who:

  • receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • receive 3 and 4 year old early education funding
  • eligibility will be extended to all age groups accessing funded provision – 2 year-olds and older from April 2024 and 9 month-olds and older from September 2024
How do I claim DAF?

Providers need to be aware the parent is in receipt of DLA for their child. At the point of completing the 'parent/carer declaration form' with the provider you will need to declare that you are in receipt of DLA.

  • The provider will need to see and obtain a copy of the DLA award letter for their records.
  • The provider then submits their application for the early education funding and will confirm your child's eligibility for the additional DAF funding.
Can the DAF funding be used at more than one childcare provider?

The funding can only be used at one setting. If the child attends more than one setting, the parents will need to choose which of their providers gets the funding. You will do this either on registering with the childcare provider or if the child becomes eligible later.

If a child receiving DAF moves from one setting to another within the year, the new setting is not eligible to receive DAF funding for this child within the same year. DAF funding received by the original setting will not be recovered.

How will I know what the DAF funding is used for?

DAF payments could be spent on specialist equipment and resources or making reasonable adjustments to the setting (eg staff training in the use of sign language), and providers are expected to spend the full amount on the child. Providers should talk with parents to build a partnership, as this helps to manage parental expectations and to prompt providers to make reasonable changes to meet the needs of a child.

Each childcare provider submits a Local Offer SEND Report detailing the support they provide for children with disabilities. Reports can be found on the individual childcare providers directory record. Please use this report to discuss and explore with your childcare provider the type of adjustments and care that is being provided.

Children's Disability Register

If your child has SEND you may wish to join the Children's Disability Register.