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SEND Funding for Early Years Childcare Providers - WNC

SEND Funding for Early Years Childcare Providers - WNC logo


West Northamptonshire Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street, Northampton, Northamptonshire
United Kingdom

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Disability Access Fund (DAF)

The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is designed to support children aged 0-5 years with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The DAF aids access to early years places by, for example, supporting early education and childcare providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings (be that for the child in question or for the benefit of all children who attend the setting).

Providers who have funded entitlement children who are eligible for the DAF will be entitled to receive a single, one-off payment.

Children do not have to take up the full 570 hours of funded entitlement they are entitled to in order to receive the DAF.

Who is eligible for Disability Access Fund?

    • 3 and 4 year-olds will be eligible for the DAF if the child is in receipt of child Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and attends an early years education and childcare provider for the universal entitlement.
    • Any 4-year-old children already in Reception year are not eligible for DAF funding.

How do I identify eligible children?

Childcare providers are responsible for identifying children who are eligible for the DAF. Parents or carers of children qualifying for Disability Living Allowance are required to provide documented evidence of this allowance.

How do I claim the DAF funding?

In order for childcare providers to make a claim for DAF funding, evidence of the child’s Disability Allowance must be emailed to [email protected].

 How will I receive DAF funding for my setting?

    • West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) will fund all registered early education and childcare providers providing a place for each child eligible for the DAF in their area at the fixed annual rate per eligible child.
    • The DAF will not be offset against any other funding, e.g. High Needs Funding.
    • The DAF is payable as a lump sum once a year per eligible child. If a child eligible for the DAF is splitting their Funded Entitlement across two childcare providers, the parent/carer will need to nominate the main childcare provider who will receive the DAF funding.
    • If a child receiving the DAF moves from one childcare provider to another within a financial year, the new childcare provider is not eligible to receive the DAF funding for this child within the same financial year. DAF funding received by the original setting will not be recouped.
    • Where a child lives in one local authority area but attends a childcare provider in a different local authority area, the childcare provider’s local authority is responsible for funding the DAF for the child (and eligibility checking).
    • All childcare providers who are eligible to receive funding for the Funded Entitlement for 3 and 4 year-olds are eligible to receive the DAF for any eligible children.

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

The Early Years Pupil Premium is designed to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low-income families and their peers by improving the facilities, equipment and learning experiences to benefit the growth and development of eligible children.

All children aged 3 and 4 who meet the eligibility criteria will benefit from the funding. It will be paid to early years’ providers on an hourly rate basis, linked to claimed hours for eligible children.

Any provider registered to offer funded early years places will receive the EYPP if they have entitled children. All parents will be asked to supply details to allow a check to be run by the local authority. Eligible parents will trigger a payment direct to the childcare setting.

Eligibility is updated on a monthly basis in case parent’s circumstances change. The children are funded from that point on if they do become eligible.

EYPP eligibility criteria

Parents can apply for early years’ pupil premium if they are aged 3 or 4 and get 15 hours funded childcare.

They must also receive at least one of the following:

    • Income Support
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
    • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
    • Child Tax Credit (provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190.
    • Working Tax Credit run-on, which is paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
    • Universal Credit - their household income must be less than £7,400 a year after tax not including any benefits they get.

They may also get the EYPP if their child is currently being looked after by a local authority in England or Wales ,or if their child has left care through:

    • adoption
    • a Special Guardianship Order
    • a Child Arrangement Order

Please email [email protected] if a child fits into any of these criteria confirming they are or they were previously an LAC and you wish to claim the EYPP funding.

Early Years High Needs Funding

High Needs Funding (HNF) is intended to provide the most appropriate support package for children and young people (from early years up to age 25) with special educational needs and disabilities in a range of settings, taking account of parental and student choice.

The key principles for the funding of higher needs pupils are:

    • Funding for high needs provision is to be arranged on an equivalent basis across different types of providers, including maintained or academy schools
    • This includes pupils and students with high needs in the school or academy, further education and alternative provision sectors
    • A ‘place-plus’ approach to funding in specialist settings is being adopted

How to apply for high needs funding

To make an application for high needs funding, please complete the online form listed below.

Please note the child must be attending a funded place at the time of application.

WNC recommend that you read the instruction page carefully before you begin to complete the form.

Changes to high needs funding application forms

The first time you complete a new form you will be asked to create a personal account. You will then be able to view your saved and completed forms once logged in.

If you experience any problems, please email [email protected].

What happens next?

The High Needs Panel meets monthly. They will consider applications from education providers for high needs funding for children without a statement or education, health, and care (EHC) Plan. Each application is discussed to determine whether the child meets high needs criteria.

There are two decisions types:

    • the child meets the criteria for high needs funding
    • the child does not meet the criteria for high needs funding

Decisions are notified to settings via email, within 10 working days from the panel date.

The decision notification confirms the funding period and the amount to be funded.

All panel decisions will be sent to the email address provided on the application form.

Completed applications can be submitted at any time and will be considered in date order, at the closest panel meeting date with capacity.

Please note that applications must be checked and prepared and that panel members require at least 5 working days to review applications prior to the panel meeting.

Applications submitted close to a panel date will therefore be submitted to the next panel.

For Early Years applications, where funding is agreed, it will be payable from the following payment month, for example if an application is submitted on 1 October, following the guide above this will be paid from 25 October.

Early Years High Needs funding – review date

Where Early Years high needs funding is due to cease at the end of a funding block for pupil(s) remaining at the same setting, a new application would need to be submitted.

What happens when pupils move to another setting?

Where pupils move to another setting within their eligibility dates, funding will commence at the new setting without the need for re-application.

The original funding decision review date/end date will apply at the new setting and at that point a re-application to panel may be appropriate. In such cases the new setting will be required to make a full application to panel.

The Early Years High Needs funding can only be claimed by childcare providers who are located in West Northamptonshire. If you are unsure, email [email protected].

If a child who has a West Northamptonshire postcode but attends a provision that is outside of West Northamptonshire, they would need to apply directly to the local authority the provision is located in.


West Northamptonshire
Additional languages
Translation and/or Interpreting Available on Request
Age range
Suitable for ages from 0 to 5 years
Referral Route
No Referral Needed
Type of Service
Local Government Department
Eligibility Criteria
Provider Category
  • Specialist Services - For those who require longer-term support
  • Targeted Services - Additional Support Needs
Special Needs
Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)

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Last updated 05 May 2023