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Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Hackney Education,
1 Reading Lane,
E8 1GQ
Telephone: 020 8820 7482 (Early Years providers queries)


What is the Disability Access Fund (DAF)?

Since April 2017 the government has introduced a new funding measure for early years providers, the Disability Access Fund (DAF), to support children with disabilities or SEN.

The DAF supports access to early years childcare 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).

Who is eligible for DAF?

3 and 4 year olds will be eligible for the DAF if they meet the following criteria:

  • the child is in receipt of child disability living allowance (DLA) and;
  • the child receives free early education.


Note: Four-year olds in primary school reception classes are NOT eligible for DAF funding.

Children become eligible for free early education at different times in the year depending on when they turn 3.


How does the DAF entitlement work?

The settings of 3 and 4 year olds eligible for the DAF will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £615 per eligible child per year.

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.


How are children who may be eligable identified?

Early years providers are responsible for identifying eligible children. Providers are encouraged to speak to parents in order to find out who is eligible for the DAF. Parents of children qualifying for Disability Living Allowance will be required to provide documented evidence of this entitlement, and providers will need to take a copy of this evidence


What do parents or carers need to do?

Let your child’s nursery, school, childminder, playgroup know if your child receives Disability Living Allowance and they are about to turn three or are now three or four years old.


How will early years providers will receive DAF funding?

  • Hackney Education will fund the fixed annual rate of £615 per eligible child to the Hackney setting they attend.
  • 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 education entitlement are also eligible to receive the DAF.


How do providers/ settings claim DAF funding?

To claim the funding Early Years providers have been given details of how to upload the completed form (available from the download section of this page) with a copy of the child’s DLA (Disability Living Allowance) Award letter and submit this to the Early Years team by secure file transfer website.

If providers already have a parent declaration form which includes the DAF then they can upload that instead of the attached form.

Early Years providers who would like more information on how to access this funding should contact Early Years - Finance and Administration. 


Phone: 020 8820 7482

Please only send completed forms by secure transfer. 


Please Note:

Parents / carers do not apply for this funding themselves.

It is settings who need to apply on behalf of eligible children attending their settings.  

Record Last Updated on: 13/01/2021

Other Details

Who is eligible?


Three and four year olds will be eligible for the DAF if they meet the following criteria:

• the child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

• the child receives the universal 15 hours entitlement

Please note: Children do not have to take up the full 570 hours of early education that they are entitled to in order to receive the DAF.

Children will be eligible where they take up any period of free entitlement and receive DLA.

Four year olds in primary school reception classes are not eligible for DAF funding.

Identifying eligible children

Early years providers are responsible for identifying eligible children and are encouraged to use the Department’s parent declaration template, which includes a DAF declaration, to do so.

Referral required?


What to do if you have a complaint

How you feel about having used a service is important. Services often ask you for feedback about your experience. This is to help them understand how to make sure people they work with have a good experience.

If you have feedback about this service, something you liked or were not happy with, you can talk to the person who worked with you or, if you feel more comfortable, a service manager. They will try to help sort out any problems.

If you are still not happy with the service you can raise your concerns formally. This means someone who is not part of the service will look at your feedback or concern and see if anything can or needs to be done to help make things better.

If you need to make a formal complaint you can use the London Borough of Hackney complaints procedure.

How to Get Here

Buses: 30, 38, 388, 55, 106, 236, 242, 253, 276, 277, D6

Train: London Fields, Hackney Central, Hackney Downs

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Disclaimer-important information about the Hackney Local Offer

Hackney's Local Offer website is a free and impartial service provided by the London Borough of Hackney in partnership with the NHS, local education, health and community services. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that may be available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the London Borough of Hackney or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information. Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use or loss of use of data or profits arising out of or in connection with the use of the Hackney Local Offer.

Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.

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