Due to COVID-19 there has been changes to the SENIF process, please refer to the following news updates for further information: SENIF process update June 2020 and SENIF process update April 2020. Please contact EYSEND.Panel@walthamforest.gov.uk for any further questions regarding SENIF.
Early Years providers in schools and settings can access a variety of further funding to support children with developmental delay and SEND. This page provides an outline of the funding options available in the Early Years and guidance on how to apply and access these.
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 email@example.com.
SENIF is available to help schools and settings support 2, 3 and 4 year olds with over 6 months of developmental delay or SEND. These children must be eligible for and taking up a free early education entitlement place and not currently have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If the child is currently undergoing a EHC referral or assessment, SENIF can be applied for and may be approved until the EHCP is finalised.
Applications are made by completing the SENIF application form which is sent to EYSEND.Panel@walthamforest.gov.uk alongside supporting documentation.
If the application is successful, providers are responsible for:
Administration of the SENIF sits with the Early Years, Childcare and Business Development Service, who manage the panels through which applications are assessed. For further information regarding the SENIF Panel such as application dates, frequent asked questions and filling out the application form download the SENIF Guidance document.
The 2 year old Partnership Pathway has been developed jointly by the local authority, Health, Early Help and Children and Family Centre services. The intention of this pathway is to give Waltham Forest families the best start in their children’s lives by working together and using or collective knowledge and expertise to:
Every professional has a unique role to play but we are part of a holistic ‘think family’ support framework, working together as one around the family.
For full details of the pathway and how families and children should fully access all universal services visit the partnership pathway page and download the 2YO Partnership Pathway poster.
2 year old’s who are eligible for a free early education entitlement (FEEE) can take up their place at a childcare provider who can apply for SENIF if further funding is required to support the child in the setting.
2 year old’s who are not eligible for FEEE and their family have engaged with a 3 month package of support at a Waltham Forest Children and Family Centre and if the child has over 6 months developmental delay – the child’s allocated key worker at the Children and Family Centre will consider making an application to the Early Years and Childcare Team’s 2YO SEND non-FEEE Panel to support them in taking up a place with a childcare provider.
The 2YO SEND non-FEEE place consists of the family paying for up to 6 hours of childcare at a standard hourly rate – this is then topped up by the 2YO SEND non-FEEE Panel. This additional funding is provided to the childcare provider to support the child’s learning and development needs. The panel provides a top up to this standard hourly rate for a maximum of 6 hours that the parent pays for, however it is the parents’ choice on the number of hours they would like to pay for childcare. For example, if the parent chooses to pay for 3 hours – 3 hours will be topped up, if the family choose to pay for 15 hours – the maximum of 6 hours will be topped up.
If 2YO SEND non-FEEE funding is approved by the panel the parents/carers must share their panel outcomes letter to their chosen childcare provider to request their place. If as a childcare provider you receive this letter from a parent you must notify the Early Years, Childcare and Business Development Service at EYSEND.Panel@walthamforest.gov.uk to receive the funding. If the 2YO SEND non-FEEE funding ends while the child is still a 2 year old at the setting, it is the settings responsibility to reapply for the funding using the review form.