Disability Access Fund
The Disability Access Fund (DAF) supports children with disabilities or special educational needs (SEN).
DAF aids access to free places. For example, it may be used to support 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).
Three and four year olds will be eligible for DAF if they meet the following criteria:
- the child is in receipt of child disability living allowance (DLA) and
- the child attends a childcare provider for the universal entitlement
Childcare providers taking 3 and 4 year olds eligible for DAF will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £615 per year.
DAF is not based on an hourly rate and is an additional entitlement.
My child qualifies for DAF - what do I do?
Take the letter confirming your child’s eligibility to the DLA to your childcare provider. Your provider will fill in a DAF application form which you will need to sign to confirm that you have nominated that provider to receive the DAF.
Your childcare provider will take a copy of the DLA letter for their files and submit the DAF application to the Local Authority for payment.
What happens if my child attends more than one childcare provider?
DAF is payable as a lump sum once a year per eligible child. Only one DAF payment will be made per child, per year.
Therefore if a child eligible for DAF is splitting their funded entitlement across 2 or more providers, parents will nominate a main setting. This setting will be where the local authority will pay DAF for the child.
The DAF year runs from 1 April to 31 March.
My child has changed provider, what happens with the DAF?
If a child receiving DAF moves from one provider to another within a financial year, the new provider 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.
My child will be starting reception class in a maintained school - can DAF be paid to the school once they start reception?
No. Children are only eligible for DAF if they are accessing the universal entitlement, which stops once a child enters a reception class in a maintained school.
Children in reception class in an independent school may be eligible for DAF if the school offers the universal entitlement in its reception class.