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Disability Access Fund (DAF) - North Somerset

What is the Disability Access Fund?

The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is new funding for early years providers to support children with disabilities or special educational needs. It aids access to early years places by supporting providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings.

Who is eligible?

3 and 4-year olds will be eligible for the Disability Access Fund if they meet the following criteria:

  • the child is in receipt of child disability living allowance (DLA) and;
  • the child accesses the funded entitlement at the early years provider

4-year olds in reception classes are NOT eligible for disability access funding.

What is the entitlement?

Childcare providers who take three and four-year-olds that are eligible for the Disability Access Fund will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £615 per year. The Disability Access Fund 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 Disability Access Fund . Children in receipt of the Disability Access Fund will be eligible where they take-up any period of free entitlement.

Identifying eligible children

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 Disability Access Fund.  Parents of children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance are required to provide evidence of Disability Living Allowance. Providers need to take a copy of this evidence.

Parents who attend more than one provider need to be aware that only one payment can be made and they must nominate which provider that should be.

 

How will early years providers receive the funding?

  • The local authority will fund all early years providers providing a place for each child eligible for the Disability Access Fund in their area at the fixed annual rate of £615 per eligible child.
  • The Disability Access Fund will not be offset against any other funding which the local authority may ordinarily be providing for children eligible for the Disability Access Fund.
  • The Disability Access Fund is payable as a lump sum once a year per eligible child. If a child eligible for the Disability Access Fund is splitting their funded entitlement across two or more providers, the local authority will ask parents to nominate the main provider. The Local Authority will then pay this provider the Disability Access Fund for the child.
  • If a child receiving the Disability Access Fund moves from one provider to another within a financial year, the new provider is not eligible to receive the Disability Access funding for this child within the same financial year. Disability Access 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 Disability Access Fund for the child and eligibility checking.
  • All early years providers who are eligible to receive funding for the 3 and 4 year-old early years entitlement are also eligible to receive the Disability Access Fund.
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