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Early Years Disability Access Fund (DAF)

What is the Disability Access Fund (DAF)?

  • From April 2017 providers will be able to access additional funding (separate to Inclusion Funding) to support children with disabilities or SEN. The DAF aids access to early years places by, for example, supporting providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings and/or helping with building capacity (be that for the child in question or for the benefit of children as a whole attending the setting).
  • The Disability Access Fund is for all three- four year olds who are taking up their free funding entitlement and who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance.
  • Note: Four-year olds in primary school reception classes are NOT eligible for DAF funding. Children become eligible for free early education at different points in the year depending on when they turn 3.
  • Early years providers are ultimately responsible for identifying eligible children.

Information pack

How much funding will each child receive if eligible?

  • It is equivalent to £615 per child per year and is paid to the registered Childcare Provider where the child attends to help support access to the free funding entitlement
  • The DAF is not based on an hourly rate and is an additional entitlement.
  • Children do not have to take up the full 570 hours of early education they are entitled to in order to receive the DAF.
  • Children in receipt of the DAF will be eligible where they take-up any period of free entitlement.

From April 2022 the national funding rate for disability access fund will increase by £185, from £615 to £800 per eligible child per year.

What happens if the child is attending two different settings?

  • If the child is attending two different settings to access their free funding entitlement, then the parent/ carer needs to choose which setting will be allocated the DAF

Do I need to complete a form to access the DAF?

  • Providers will need to complete pages 1-5 of the Early Years SEN Inclusion Fund Application form with a completed invoice for the amount of £615
  • Parents will need to complete a signed Parental Declaration and give their chosen childcare provider a copy of the DLA letter
  • All information should then be should be emailed to:
  • or post to: SEND Outreach Services, King’s Park Campus Eltham Palace Road, London SE9 5LX and marked FAO: Early Years SEN Inclusion Fund

What if the child moves to another childcare provider half way through the year?

  • If the child moves settings half way through the year, the funding will stay with the current setting, it is not transferable and does not follow the child.

How early years providers will receive DAF funding?

  • The local authority will fund all early years’ settings providing a place for each child eligible for the DAF in their area at the fixed annual rate of £615 per eligible child.
  • The DAF will not be offset against any other funding which the local authority may ordinarily be providing for children eligible for the DAF.
  • The DAF is payable as a lump sum once a year per eligible child. If a child eligible for the DAF is splitting their free entitlement across two or more providers, the local authority will ask parents to nominate the main setting. This setting will be where the local authority will pay the DAF for the child.
  • If a child receiving DAF moves from one setting to another within a financial year, the new setting is not eligible to receive DAF funding for this child within the same financial year. DAF funding received by the original setting will not be recouped by the local authority.
  • Where a child lives in one authority area but attends a provider in a different local authority, the provider’s local authority is responsible for funding the DAF for the child and eligibility checking.
  • All early years providers who are eligible to receive funding for the 3- and 4-year-old early entitlement education are also eligible to receive the DAF.

Who should I contact if I have a question about the DAF?

If you would like to find out more or have any questions……


Telephone: 0208 921 3311

Easy Read - DAF

How can I find out about Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and where can I go if I need further support?

Easy Read - DLA

There are a number of different services/agencies who can support families in completing Disability Living Allowance forms should this be appropriate for the child:

Claim forms are also available in different formats via the website


Please click on the money link to the right of the page for more infomation on DLA.