What is the Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

What is DAF?

The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is new funding for early years providers to support children with disabilities or special educational needs. It aids access to early year’s places by supporting providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings.


3- and 4-year old’s will be eligible for the Disability Access Fund if they meet the following criteria:

  • the child is in receipt of child disability living allowance (DLA) and.
  • the child accesses the funded entitlement at the early years’ provider

As from April 2024 2 year olds will also be entitled to DAF.

Note:  4-year old’s in primary and infant school reception classes are NOT eligible for disability access funding.


Providers taking three- and four-year-old’s that are eligible for the Disability Access Fund will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £910.00 per year. The Disability Access Fund 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 they are entitled to in order to receive the Disability Access Fund.

Identifying eligible children and how to apply:

Early years providers are encouraged to speak to parents in order to find out which children are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Parents of children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance are required to provide evidence to their childcare provider.  Applications for Disability Access Funding need to be made via the provider portal when the settings are claiming the headcount.

Parents who attend more than one provider need to be aware that only one payment can be made and they must complete the parental agreement form for the provider that they wish to receive the funding.

How early years providers will receive DAF funding:

The full payment will be processed during the headcount providing that evidence has been submitted (a copy of the child’s current DLA award letter).

What can the DAF funding be used for?

DAF payments could be spent on equipment, resources or making reasonable adjustments to the setting, and providers are expected to spend the full amount on the child. If the equipment or adjustment costs more, providers are expected to fund this gap. DAF should not be used to provide any additional staffing or assessments to support the child.  Full information is available on the DAF Guidance.