Under the Equality Act 2010, childcare providers have a legal duty to ensure they support the access of all children to their provision. To support this, in April 2017 the government introduced the Disability Access Fund (DAF) which is to help funded providers make those reasonable adjustments within their provision to support children with a disability.
The Disability Access Fund is a one off payment of £615 per child per year to the provider nominated by the parent, and is to be used to support inclusion of eligible 3 & 4 year olds through reasonable adjustments. The payment is made regardless of how many hours a child attends and is not prorated. In Buckinghamshire, from 1st April 2018, payments are made in the term a child first becomes eligible and takes up an early education funded place and is then paid again on the first anniversary if the child is still in the setting.
3- and 4-year olds will be eligible for DAF if they meet the following criteria:
Providers will need to identify eligible children through conversations with parents and carers and record on the Parent/Provider agreement form (PPA-U or PPA-E) that they have seen evidence to show the child is in receipt of DLA. A copy of this evidence needs to be sent to the Early Years Funding Team either via AnyComms or by post, if the provider does not have access to AnyComms.
If a child attends more than one setting, funding is paid to the childcare provider nominated by the parent/carer.
If a child eligible for 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.
Please note: Four-year olds in primary and infant school reception classes are NOT eligible for Disability Access Funding.
Payments will be made in accordance with information recorded on the termly claim form.
If you have any queries regarding payment of DAF funding please contact the Early Years Funding Team on 01296 387481 / 01296 387423
Utilising DAF to support children with SEND
Providers should consider what reasonable adaptations are required to ensure equity of access. This may include changes to the environment, equipment or additional resources to support the provider with meeting the needs of the child or for the benefit of children as a whole attending the setting.
Providers should involve the child’s parent(s) and engage with other professionals working with the family to ensure DAF is spent appropriately.
Any resources purchased as part of DAF remain the property of that particular provider. However, if a child is moving onto another provider, they may wish to make arrangements for the transfer of any resources.
Refer to Early Years Graduated Approach Intervention Guidance available on Buckinghamshire’s Local Offer for further information regarding interventions which may be put in place using DAF.
Contact your Early Years SEND Advisor 01296 387037 for advice.
Last updated: 12/06/2018