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Disability access fund

If you provide free early education entitlement (FEEE) places for any three or four-year-olds who receive disability living allowance (DLA), your setting is eligible to receive disability access funding (DAF), which is £615 per child. This is a one-off payment paid to a provider on an annual basis (one payment per financial year). The payment can only be made to one provider and cannot be split so where a child received provision at more than one provider the parent will need to decide which setting will receive the DAF payment.

The purpose of the DAF is to help the childcare provider make reasonable adjustments at their setting to improve the child's access to free early education. It is paid directly to the childcare provider and they need to work with the parent to decide how it should be spent. The DAF cannot be used towards childcare fees or providing more FEEE hours.

The process for qualification is as follows:

  • Parents of children qualifying for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will be required to provide you with evidence of this entitlement. You will need to take copy of any documentation that is provided to prove this.
  • The provider is required to submit an application via the Disability Access Fund process in the Provider Portal. Copies of the evidence and the parent agreement form will be required
  • A spot payment will then be made to that provider for their annual payment.
  • The parent will be required to provide evidence on an annual basis - payment in any further financial years will not be automatic. The process will need to be followed every financial year that the child qualifies for additional payment.

Any questions should be directed to earlyyearsdata@essex.gov.uk in the first instance. More information is available on HM Revenue & Customs website.