SEND funding - Early Years

Early Years providers can access a variety of additional funding to support children with SEND to take up their free early education entitlement hours. This page provide an outline of what is available and guidance on how to apply for this on behalf of the child with SEND.

Additional funding available to support children with SEND to take up their free early education entitlement hours include:

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

If a child is aged three or four and is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the setting can apply for the Disability Access Fund (DAF).

The purpose of DAF is to support early years settings to make initial reasonable adjustments and to build the capacity of their setting to support disabled children. DAF is a one-off payment of £615 per year.

If a child is splitting their FEEE across two providers, the parent will be required to confirm in writing to the local authority which school or setting they nominate as the main setting and who will receive DAF funding. This information is recorded by the parent on their parental declaration form.

Full details about claiming DAF funding can be found in Section 2 of the FEEE Financial Guidance 18-19. To claim DAF for a child at your setting, send a copy of the child’s disability award letter and parental declaration form to

If Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP), Disability Access Fund (DAF) or Deprivation supplement funding does not cover the additional cost of meeting the needs of a child with SEND you can apply for:

SEND Inclusion Funding

SENIF is available to help settings support two, three and four year olds with SEND but not an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) take up the free early education hours that they are eligible for.

Applications are made by completing the SENIF application form (below) which is sent to alongside supporting documentation. 

If the application is successful, providers are responsible for:

  • ensuring that funding is spent on the intended support and interventions; and
  • providing evidence of the impact that this funding is having on the outcomes for the children to which it relates.

Administration of the SENIF sits with the Early Years, Childcare and Business Development Service, who manage the panels through which applications are assessed.Panel dates can be found at the bottom of the page.

Two year old SEND non-FEEE

Early identification is vital in order to plan purposeful interventions to support children’s learning and development. Two year old SEND Non-FEEE funding aims to support children not eligible for a Free Early Education Entitlement placement, who may have developmental delay or SEND access childcare as a package of support.

An Integrated Review has been developed with health services, the local authority and Children and Family Centre to ensure the most vulnerable children and families are supported in this process. Applications are made by the Children and Family Centre on behalf of children and families. Information and guidance on the application process can be downloaded below.

To be referred to the panel, the child must not be attending a school nursery or childcare provision. Applications can apply for up to 6 hours free childcare per week during term time. The panel will generally only approve a maximum of 2 terms of childcare, after which would then be reviewed and another application made for continuation of provision if necessary.

Please note: There is an expectation that the family would purchase additional childcare hours and that these would equate to a minimum of 50% of the free hours requested e.g. a family requesting 6 free hours per week would purchase a minimum of 3 additional hours per week.

If approved parents/carers must present their panel outcomes letter to their chosen childcare provider to request their place

If the application is successful, providers are responsible for:

  • completing the 2YO SEND Non-FEEE Panel Review Form a month before the funding ends.

Full details regarding how to claim funding for placement approved under this scheme can be found in Section 2 of the FEEE Financial Guidance.

SENIF Application Guidance

SENIF Application Form



Information on the SENIF panels


SENIF Application Guidance

Guidance on completing the SENIF application form


SENIF panel review form


SENIF Appeal Form


SENIF Panel Terms of Reference


Two year old SEND non-FEEE application and guidance

2 Year old SEND Non FEEE Application


2 year old SEND non-FEEE panel information


2 year old SEND non-FEEE panel review form

Last update: Tuesday 23rd of July 2019 03:46:40 PM