The government has introduced a new funding measure for early years providers, the Disability Access Fund (DAF), to support children with disabilities.
The Disability Access Fund (DAF) will help providers to make reasonable adjustments in their settings, either to support the individual child, or for the benefit of all children attending the setting.
Eligibility for Disability Access Fund (DAF)
3 and 4 year olds will be eligible for the DAF if they meet the following criteria:
- the child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and;
- the child attends an early years provider for the funded entitlement
Please note: Four year olds in primary and infant 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.
Settings offering places to children who are eligible for DAF funding will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £615 per child. The DAF is not based on an hourly rate and is an additional payment.
DAF funding is allocated only once in a 12 month period and a provider can apply for the fudning at any point the the academic year. It may be that a child who attends a setting for five terms may receive two DAF payments, however, they would need to reapply for the funding in the second year.
If the child attends more than one setting only the main setting will receive the payment. The child's parents will choose which setting will receive the funding and this will be recorded on the parental declaration form.
If a child moves settings within the year the new setting will not be eligible to receive a payment until 12 months after the first payment was made.
Identifying eligible children
Early Years providers are responsible for identifying eligible children. Parents of children qualifying for Disability Living Allowance are required to provide documental evidence of this entitlement. This is usually a benefits award letter from the DWP, sent to parents, naming the child for whom the benefit is paid. Providers need to take a copy of this evidence and submit it to Together for Children.
Claims for Disability Access Funding are to be made through the Provider Portal. A completed application form and copy of evidence of DLA will need to be submitted via the portal. Click this link to access a copy of the application form.
A Frequently Asked Question document regarding DAF is attached.