Skip to main contentAccessibility Statement

Early Years Targeted SEND Funding

All funded providers must have regard to the SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years and the Equality Act 2010: guidance, to meet the needs of children with Special Educational Needs and or a Disability (SEND). Early years providers should consider how best to use their resources to support the progress of children with SEND.

Where a child has special educational needs and or a disability, where provision for their early education cannot be met through reasonable adjustments from existing resources and regular budget, it is possible to apply for Targeted SEND Funding (TSF).

The aim of the additional funding is to secure better outcomes for children with SEND and assist settings to fulfil their duty to meet children’s needs.

What you need to know before you apply

Funding can be requested for the following:

  • specific equipment or resources - specialist resources which are over and above what would be typically found in an early years environment e.g. sensory toys/resources, visual aids
  • adaptations to the environment - any specific request for adaptations to the environment needs to support the child in accessing play and learning opportunities
  • support - enhancing staffing, upskilling staff, specialist training or accessing specialist support

Providers eligible to apply for Targeted SEND Funding

Eligible providers are:

  • schools with nursery provision
  • maintained nursery schools
  • private, voluntary and independent nurseries
  • pre-schools
  • childminders and childcare on domestic premises who are eligible to offer the funded childcare and education for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds

Children eligible for Targeted SEND Funding


  • must not have an Education, Health, and Care Plan
  • must be in receipt of either:
    • funded 2-year-old families receiving Government support (disadvantaged 2-year-old entitlement)
    • funded 2-year-old working parent entitlement
    • 3 to 4-year-old universal or extended funded entitlement

The provider is responsible for ensuring the correct headcount information is submitted, which will form part of our auditing process. We will not approve TSF, which exceeds the number of actual hours the child is attending and receiving for the Funded hours as submitted on the provider’s headcount submission.

TSF is based on the setting’s location, so all children accessing a funded place within West Northamptonshire regardless of their home address may be eligible.

Data protection

Please ensure the child’s parents have been made aware.

The information given by the child's parents must also be covered by the relevant data protection legislation and may be shared by relevant services within West Northamptonshire Council and their identified partners.

Documents needed are:

  • an online application form
  • a fully completed Portage SEND and Early Years Developmental Profile (this includes the whole document and summary page)
  • evidence of Assess, Plan, Do, Review implementation including time allocated for targeted interventions
  • a recent Child Development Centre (CDC) assessment, if the child has one
  • the SEND Ranges 0-25 years Guidance 2022

The threshold for identification or potential funding eligibility will be assessed using the descriptors identified in the SEND Ranges and evidence of clear identification of the child’s needs and developmental delay.

The criteria for TSF reflect more complex needs. A delay in learning and development in the early years does not always indicate a child has a special educational need that calls for special educational provision. 

Similarly, difficulties related solely to learning English as an additional language are not considered a special educational need.

The form must be completed by an appropriate professional such as a SENCO, head teacher, class teacher, early years manager or early years senior practitioner.

There is an expectation that the parent of the child, or the legal responsible person, has been kept informed and supports the application.

Providers must complete the online application form and attach where asked the Portage Developmental Profile and supporting assessments or reports if applicable.

The form will automatically generate a reference number, please make a note this number and use it in any correspondence with the local authority regarding your application.

We recommend saving at regular intervals to avoid losing any data you enter.

The application and supporting information must demonstrate an ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ approach, with a clear focus on the achievement of outcomes for the child.

You will be required to clearly evidence on the application the time spent implementing the child’s individual targeted interventions.

Guidance on desired content and evidence is given within the application form.

All applications must include a declaration that parents are willing for the provider to share information to access support and has full understanding of what has been applied for.

It is the responsibility for the provider to communicate the application, outcome, and progress with the parents/carers. By submitting the application, you hereby give consent for the panel to contact and liaise with all relevant parties including the parent or carers if required. The setting is responsible for ensuring parental or carers' consent has been obtained.

The application will be considered by a multidisciplinary team of early years professionals and SEND specialists. The Panel will consider applications 12 times a year and providers will be informed of the outcome in writing via email within 10 working days of the panel date.

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

Applications must be checked and prepared. 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.

Possible outcomes from panel are:

  • eligible and approved for TSF
  • further information is required e.g. evidence of assess, plan, do, review and time allocated for specific targeted interventions
  • further information is required where a child’s needs have not been clearly evidenced
  • clarity of funding start date
  • child is not eligible or does not meet criteria for TSF

If the panel agrees to provide additional funding to support a child, it will be for a specified length of time and a review date will be set. 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.

Where funding is not agreed on, the provider might be given some next steps to consider. It may be that the setting is asked to continue to follow recommendations from the Early Education and Childcare team (EEC) or the SEND Support Service (SSS).

Funding will only be paid to settings when the request has been agreed by the panel and will be paid from the beginning of the month of the panel date. Where further information has been requested and is subsequently agreed, funding will be paid from the date of the panel the original application was submitted.

We endeavour for the Early Years Targeted SEND payment to be paid by the last Friday of the month. In some circumstances this may be delayed, although all payments should be paid by month end.

Providers will not receive payment reports and should refer to the eligibility letter sent for all details.

It is the responsibility of the provider to ensure the payment is correct. To raise any discrepancies, send an email immediately to [email protected].

The panel members understand that all information shared about the child is to be kept confidential. Where members feel there is a conflict of interest, for example they are aware of the child outside of work, then they will leave the panel while the child is being discussed.

Application submission datesDeadline to submit applicationPanel date
1 March 2024 - 4 April 20244 April 202411 April 2024
5 April 2024 - 2 May 20242 May 20249 May 2024
3 May 2024 - 6 June 20246 June 202413 June 2024
7 June 2024 - 3 July 20243 July 202411 July 2024
4 July 2024 - 31 July 202431 July 20248 August 2024
1 August 2024 - 4 September 20244 September 202412 September 2024
5 September 2024 - 3 October 20243 October 202410 October 2024
4 October 2024 - 7 November 20247 November 202414 November 2024
8 November 2024 - 5 December 20245 December 202412 December 2024
6 December 2024 - 9 January 20259 January 202516 January 2025
10 January 2025 - 6 February 20256 February 202513 February 2025
7 February 2025 - 6 March 20256 March 202513 March 2025

If a continuation of TSF is required, you will be expected to complete a Continuation Form which must provide evidence as to how the funding has been used to support the child and how further additional payments will continue to support and impact on the child’s outcomes. The Continuation Form will be discussed in panel in line with the TSF panel terms of reference.

If providers cannot demonstrate that additional funding is being used to support a child’s development in line with their application, funding may be reduced or withdrawn subject to monitoring by West Northamptonshire Council. The local authority will communicate directly with the provider in such cases.

The panel will only discuss a case if a Continuation Form has been submitted. TSF will cease without a completed form and additional evidence. The Continuation Form must be submitted at least one month prior to the review date. It is the providers responsibility to submit the Continuation Form a reminder will not be sent.

The provider must update the local authority of a change in circumstance related to approved applications. TSF panel must be updated with any change in circumstances for a child in receipt of TSF. To notify of any circumstance change, you must complete a Change in Circumstance online form.

Change of circumstance for the child could be:

  • increase or decrease of attendance of funded hours at the setting
  • moving to another setting within West Northamptonshire area
  • moving out of West Northamptonshire area
  • moving to a provider out of the West Northamptonshire area
  • TSF no longer required
  • receiving a final Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

For children with the highest level of need, settings will be able to apply for TSF before the child starts. Where settings have limited availability of supporting evidence, they may be asked to provide further clear evidence of need and the required program of support, so that relevant professionals such as SSS, health colleagues can ratify the funding decision. This will usually be within 8 weeks of the start of the placement.

In exceptional circumstances, if children have significant needs and are not eligible for the funding entitlement, applications may still be considered for Targeted SEND Funding.

TSF does not automatically follow the child to a new setting.

The existing provider will need to notify TSF panel the child is moving settings by completing the Change of Circumstances Form.

It is the new provider's responsibility to make a new application for TSF detailing their programme of support for the child.

Where a child attends more than one setting, individual applications can be made by each provider. Additional funding will only be considered for early education funded hours for the child. 

It is good practice to ensure both providers are communicating with each other about interventions and support being put in place.

The targeted SEND Funding can only be claimed by childcare providers who are located in West Northamptonshire with a West Northamptonshire postcode.

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.

Providers can contact the Early Education and Childcare Team by email or in writing if they wish to have further information or appeal against panel decisions. This must be done within 10 working days of receiving the panel’s decision notification.

Email: [email protected]
Apply in writing to:

Early Education and Childcare Team 
West Northamptonshire Council
One Angel Square
Angel Street

Apply for funding

Submit an application, continuation or change of circumstance form for Targeted SEND Funding:

Last updated 03 June 2024