What is the Disability Access Fund?
The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is part of the early years national funding formula introduced in April 2017. The DAF provides additional funding to support early years providers make reasonable adjustments to enable children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) access their funded early years entitlement hours.
The Disability Access Fund is £615 per year for eligible children. Funding will be paid per year directly to one childcare provider nominated by the parent. The DAF is not based on an hourly rate and is an additional entitlement payable as a lump sum.
What are the eligibility criteria?
- The child is in receipt of the three and four year old early education funding
- The child is not attending a reception class in a primary or infant school/academy
- The child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Children do not need to take up all of their early education funded hours to be able to access the DAF
- If a child is accessing their early education entitlement at more than one provider, the parent must nominate which provider will receive the DAF payment – the payment cannot be split
- The childcare provider will decide how the Disability Access Fund will be spent in partnership with the parent
- Funding cannot be used to pay for additional hours
- Once funding for the year is paid, it will not be reclaimed even if the child leaves the setting
- If a child receiving DAF moves from one setting to another within a financial year, the new setting is not eligible to receive any Disability Access Funding for this child within the same financial year (1st April to 31st March).