Disability Access Fund

Application forms for the Disability Access Fund, for Early Years Practitioners

The Disability Access Fund (DAF) helps children with special needs access early years places. The funding available can help provider in make reasonable adjustments to their settings, purchase specialist equipment and/or seek specialist training that would support providers to meet the child’s needs.

​Eligibility for Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Three and four year olds will be eligible for the DAF if they meet the following criteria:

  • the child is in receipt of child disability living allowance (DLA) and;
  • the child receives three and four year old free early education.

Note: Four year olds in primary school reception classes are NOT eligible for DAF funding. Children become eligible for free early education in the term following their third birthday. For more information please see Early Education Funding for Three & Four Year Olds page.

Entitlement

  • The settings of three and four year olds eligible for the DAF will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £615 per year.
  • The DAF 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 to receive the DAF. Children in receipt of the DAF will be eligible where they take-up any period of free entitlement.

Identifying eligible children

Early years providers are responsible for identifying eligible children. Please speak to parents in order to find out who is eligible for the DAF. Parents of children qualifying for Disability Living Allowance need to evidence of this entitlement, and providers will need to email a copy of this evidence when requesting DAF to eef.funding@bournemouth.gov.uk

How early years providers will receive DAF funding

  • The local authority will fund all early years settings providing a place for each child eligible for the DAF in their area at the fixed annual rate of £615 per eligible child.
  • The DAF will not be offset against any other funding which the local authority may ordinarily be providing for children eligible for the DAF.
  • The DAF is payable as a lump sum once a year per eligible child. If a child eligible for the DAF is splitting their free entitlement across two or more providers, the local authority will ask parents to nominate the main setting. This setting will be where the local authority will pay the DAF for the child.  Please note, some parents may wish to wait until they are confident that their child will remain attending a setting for the remainder of the year before accessing DAF.
  • Once the funding for the year is paid, it will not be reclaimed even if the child leaves the setting.  The new setting will not be able to receive any Disability Access Fund payment until the following year.
  • If a child receiving 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.

Queries about the Disability Access Fund

If you have any queries regarding the Disability Access Fund, please call Jonathan Payne on: 01202 451729 or email: jonathan.payne@bournemouth.gov.uk

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