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Early Years and Childcare - SEND Funding

Please use the links below to apply for SEND funding and to submit a claim for it. 

Please refer to the Early Years SEND Funding Request and Claiming Process for guidance.



Early Years SEND Funding Request and Claiming Process


The Department for Education funds local authorities to provide the early years funded entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds and some 2 year olds. This is funded through the early years’ block of the Dedicated School Grant. (DSG).

All settings provide some provision for young children with SEN from their core funding. However, all local authorities are required to have an SEN Inclusion Fund in their local funding systems for 3- and 4-year olds with SEND taking the free entitlement. The purpose of the fund is to support local authorities to work with providers to address the needs of individual children with SEND.

The funding is in addition to the funded entitlement and is paid to the setting for them to support children in their pre-school years to enable them to effectively meet the needs of children with SEND to access their 15 or 30 hours funded early education entitlement.

This document sets out the procedure to be followed by a setting when applying for funding to support a child(ren) with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. It includes who can apply, what can be applied for, how and when to apply.

Who can apply?

This funding is available for all early years settings, registered with Ofsted in the Peterborough Unitary Authority area. The SEN inclusion fund is for 3 and 4 year-olds who are taking up any number of hours of their free entitlement up to the 31stAugust following their 4th birthday. 2-year-olds are not eligible to receive this funding, but additional funding has been made available for those in receipt of the 2 year old funded entitlement.

Who is it for?

Funding requests will be considered where:

  • A child requires support to access a setting physically.
  • A child cannot benefit fully because they have an identified learning, communication, attention, sight or hearing difficulty.

Settings are encouraged to be clear, transparent and consistent about the SEND support available at their setting and make information available about the support to enable parents to choose the right setting for their child.

Following the SEND Code of Practice, providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEND and identify the support they need. Prior to submitting a request for funding the setting must have good knowledge and understanding of the needs of the child(ren) and how they intend to use the funding to benefit the child(ren).

How to apply

In order to request funding all providers will need to ensure the child meets the criteria of being in receipt of the early years funded entitlement and already be accepted onto the Early Support Pathway. To access the Early Support Pathway the provider will need to complete the Early Help Assessment, the Privacy Consent Statement and the Consent Form for Early Support.

Requesting Funding

To request new, or an increase in already agreed funding levels, providers need to submit a request on the Funding Request Form, clearly setting out how many funded hours the child attends, what additional funding is being requested, what the needs are and how the funding is to be used. All requests will be considered half termly, with any agreed funding to commence at the start of the following term/half term.

Any requests received after the deadline date will be submitted at the next date.

Deadline date Commencement date
17/05/2023 05/06/2023
12/07/2023 01/09/2023
19/10/2023 30/10/2023
14/12/2023 01/01/2024
15/02/2024 26/02/2024
20/03/2024 15/04/2024

Successful applications will be written to, via email, with confirmation of the funding band agreed and commencement date. Successful applications will be supported for up to 5 sessions a week consisting of a maximum of 15 hours (or up to 30 hours if eligible).

The funding is not allocated to provide a specific one to one support for that child. It is there to ensure that through additional resources (i.e. increase in staffing levels across the setting) the child is able to access his/her early education session and that the child’s educational and care needs are being met appropriately. Where applicable to support access or meet care needs adaptations or resources may also be purchased.

Payments will be made upon submission of the SEN section of your SharePoint. All requests for payment must be made by the end of the term being claimed for. Claims received after the term has finished will not be paid.

Continued funding is not guaranteed and will be reviewed at the discretion of the Early Years and Childcare Service. They will be responsible for reviewing the funding rates and the funding allocated to individual children. There is no longer the requirement to submit a termly review form unless requested to do so.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Appropriate use of funding, support and progress of funded children is essential. The Early Years & Childcare Service may ask the setting for an update on how the funding is being used and the difference this is making to the child(ren).

They may request evidence that:

  • the extra help is used for the purpose intended
  • determined attempts have been made to involve parents
  • support staff have accessed relevant training

For children who are absent from the setting or leave the setting part way through a term, the same terms and conditions set out in the provider agreement will also apply to additional funding for children with SEND.

Apply for SEND funding

SEN Inclusion funding banding:

Band Criteria Termly funding; Based on 15 hours funded entitlement Termly funding; Based on 30 hours funded entitlement
A The child requires some level of additional targeted support throughout the session to ensure they can access the full benefit of early years curriculum to support their learning and development in addition to what would be offered to all children within the setting in line with the requirements of the EYFS. £350 per term £700 per term
B The child's needs are more complex and they require a more focused and targeted level of support during the session to allow them to access and benefit from the early years curriculum offered. Evidence of observations and targets to measure the child's progress would be clear and demonstrate that the setting were using a graduated approach. £675 per term £1350 per term
C The child needs a considerable amount of support to access the full benefit of the early years curriculum. Due to the nature of the child's needs without additional interaction with adults in the setting they would not be able to participate in the learning and development programmes offered within the setting. Settings have clear strategies in place and ensure all observations, assessments and planning are evidenced and all appropriate steps to ensure progress are in place £1000 per term £2000 per term
D The child's needs are of such a complex nature that they require substantial adult support and interaction to access any of the activities or experiences that the setting are able to offer. The child receives considerable support from a range of professionals and they will continue to require high levels of support throughout their education. £1350 per term £2700 per term


Universal Offer

All children should be provided access to the full and varied experience of the early years foundation stage.

The EYFS seeks to provide:

  • quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
  • a secure foundation through planning for the learning and development of each individual child, and assessing and reviewing what they have learned regularly
  • partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers
  • equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported

The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare. The learning and development requirements cover:

  • the areas of learning and development which must shape activities and experiences (educational programmes) for all children in early years settings
  • the early learning goals that providers must help children work towards (the knowledge, skills and understanding children should have at the end of the academic year in which they turn five)
  • assessment arrangements for measuring progress (and requirements for reporting to parents and/or carers)

The additional funding available can be applied for to allow a provider to better meet the needs of a child within their setting who may require an additional level of support to access their early years curriculum effectively, beyond what they would be providing for all children in line with the EYFS as set out above.

The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is available to support providers to make reasonable adjustments to their settings and/or help with building capacity for the eligible child or for the benefit of children as a whole attending the setting. This consists of an annual allocation of £828.

Children must be receiving their three or four-year-old universal entitlement and be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to qualify.

Only one annual allocation of DAF can be made for each child. If the child is splitting their hours across more than one setting, the parent/carer will need to nominate the main setting to receive the DAF through the Parent and Provider Agreement. Settings must have seen and retained a copy of the child’s DLA award letter, which will be checked as part of the local authority audit process. The child does not have to be taking up the full entitlement to access DAF.

Complete the form to claim DAF funding.