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&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 points 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 eligible children 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/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 Learning Trust 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 to 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 Award letter and submit this to the EY team via the 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
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: 29/08/2019