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Disability Access Fund (DAF) - North Somerset

What is the Disability Access Fund?

The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is available to support children, who access their early years funded entitlement (for three and four-year-olds), with special educational needs and disabilities(SEND), in their childcare setting.

The purpose of DAF funding

The Equality Act 2010 requires local authorities and settings not to discriminate, harass or victimise disabled children, which will include making reasonable adjustments where needed. Local authorities must comply with the provisions of the Act in finding suitable provision for eligible disabled children.

The funds could be used for:

Making reasonable adjustments to your setting to enhance a child’s access to their early years funding.

Building capacity for SEND, be that for the child in question, or for the benefit of children attending the setting as a whole.

Purchasing special equipment or resources.

Growing staff knowledge and skills through specialist training.

DAF cannot be used for:

Funding additional hours or covering any shortfall in fees including meal-times.

Enhancing staff ratios.

Preparing and writing assessments and reports to support the child.

Identifying eligible children

Early years providers are responsible for identifying eligible children.

Early years providers can claim the DAF for the children who are:

  • three and four-years-old (Four year olds in primary school reception classes are not eligible for DAF funding).
  • in receipt of the early years funded entitlement (children do not need to take up the full entitlement).
  • in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:

- is under 16

- has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children - GOV.UK (


DAF payments

All early years providers who are eligible to receive early years funded entitlement for three and four-year-olds are eligible to receive DAF payments.

The DAF is payable as an annual one-off payment and is not pro-rated according to hours taken up.

Early years providers receive £800 per eligible child (From April 2022)

If a child eligible for the DAF is splitting their funded entitlement across two or more settings, parents must nominate the setting that will receive the DAF. The Local authority will then pay the DAF for the child to that nominated setting.

The Local Authority can only pay one setting but two settings can have a private arrangement to share funding, with the parents’ consent. Funding must not be given to the parent to give to the setting that has not been paid.

If a child receiving DAF moves from one setting to another, the new setting is not eligible to receive DAF funding for this child until the anniversary of the first payment has passed. DAF funding received by the original setting will not be recouped.

Where children are still eligible for the DAF, providers can claim a second payment when the anniversary of the first DAF payment has passed.

In cases where a child who lives in one local authority attends a setting in another local authority, eligibility checking and funding the DAF for the child is the responsibility of the local authority in which the setting is based.

Feedback from early years providers on how they have used DAF and the impact on the child's experience

  • We used the DAF to purchase a Brailler so that we could label the child’s name peg and other resources and books around the environment. We have also purchased tactile materials

The impact on the child has been that their experience in the nursery has been great as the additional resources have given her the opportunity to thrive. She is able to explore the room and activities and words in the environment.

  • We have used the DAF to purchase colour coded utensils in the kitchen to ensure that the child’s dietary requirements are met and that they are safe.

To support the child’s medical need we purchased an Ipad, so that alongside recording medical data we can quickly access parents and medical professionals for advice in an emergency.  

The impact on the child is that she can access the nursery safely and as staff we have increased confidence at meeting their needs.


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