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Early years childcare funding for children with SEND

If your child is aged two and is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and/or has a My Plan+, they are entitled to FREE early learning at a nursery, childminder, playgroup or children's centre.  The place is for a maximum of 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year. 

Your child can take up a place at the beginning of the term following their second birthday.  Before you start, you will need a letter or email of confirmation from the Family Information Service to show to the childcare provider, which confirms your eligibility for the funding.

For full details of how to apply for a free place, contact the Funding Team on 01452 328668 or email

All 3 and 4 year old children are also entitled to this funding.

How do I claim the 15 hours a week of free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds?

When you have found a place at a nursery, childminder, pre-school playgroup or children's centre, talk to them about taking up the free hours.  Once you have a confirmed place with a childcare provider, it will be their responsibility to complete the necessary paperwork for the council, who pay for the free places.  As a parent, you do not need to apply directly for the funding (which is different to the two year old funding) and you should not be charged for these free hours.   If you wish to use the nursery or childminder for more than 15 hours a week and they have a space, you can choose to pay for more time to suit your family's needs.

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Children aged between 3 and 4 year old are eligible if they receive free Early Years Education (Nursery Education Grant) and if they are in receipt of Disability Living allowance. DAF provides the Early Years Setting an additional annual amount of £615 per child for those who are eligible.

This funding is not transferable to other settings e.g. If your child leaves before the end of the financial year this money can’t be moved over to a new setting and if your child attends more than one setting it is up to you as the child’s parent to decide where this funding should go – it cannot be split between both settings.

For more information see the download to the right of this page.


The Family and Childcare Trust produce an information booklet for parents entitled "Guide to childcare for children with special educational needs and disabilities".  The booklet is free to parents who can obtain a copy by emailling or open the link on the right hand side of this page.







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