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Funding for SEND Early Years and Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare for Disabled Children

Tax-Free Childcare for Disabled Children

Tax-Free Childcare is available to all children from birth to 11 years old, however the eligibility is extended to children with a disability up to 17 years old.

This provides greater security to families by enabling more parents to go out to work if they want to by helping with the cost that childcare carries, particularly as the costs for disabled children can remain high throughout their teen years.

To find out more about this scheme click here

15 hours Free Childcare for 2 year olds with SEND

There is a whole section about FREE childcare for 2 year olds with SEND. 

Click here to find out about 

  • How to apply 
  • What evidence you will need to provide 
  • How it will benefit your child

15 Hours Free Childcare for 3 & 4 year olds with SEND

This scheme is sometimes known as the Universal Entitlement and is for all families in England. 

Where can I use it?

It's available at participating:

  • Full day care (e.g nurseries)
  • Schools
  • Childminders
  • Sessional providers (e.g. playgroups)
  • Family Centres
  • After school clubs

From 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child's 3rd birthday.

What isn't covered?

The 15 hours free childcare/early education offer is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips). Providers may charge a fee for these additions. If you choose to pay for these it is an arrangement between you and the childcare provider. However, you must not be required to pay any fee as a condition of taking up a 15 hours place, and must be offered alternative options.

My child needs 1:1, is this covered by the funding?

Sometimes a child may need additional funding to provide 1:1 support or any specialist equipment. The childcare provider can apply for an Inclusion Grant to help meet your child's needs whilst accessing this funding.

The DAF payment is for 3 and 4 year olds who receive child Disability Living Allowance and who are receiving the free Early Education Fund entitlement.

DAF is paid to the child’s early years setting as a fixed annual rate of £615 per eligible child.

For more information about the DAF contact our admissions service.

30 hours Free Childcare for 3 & 4 year olds with SEND

30 hours FREE childcare is for working families in England with 3 & 4 year old children, whether or not the child has any special educational needs and/or disabilities.

To qualify for 30 hours:

  • Parents or carers must each expect to earn at least £131 per week which is equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage
  • Families can still claim 30 hours free childcare if one parent works part time or is on maternity leave - as long as their income meets the minimum amount. 
  • The upper threshold for 30 hours free childcare is if either you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 or more. 

You can view this video from the Dfe (Department for education) about one family’s experience of accessing 30 hours for their son, Erik who has special educational needs.

Childcare Choices - Government help with childcare costs for parents.

Whether you have toddlers or teens, you could get support.

The Childcare Choices Website is the place to go to check your eligibility for each of the government schemes.

Click here to view the website. 

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