The Disability Access Fund is money that is available for eligible children to a nominated childcare provider once per year to aid access to Early Years places for children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities.

Eligible children are:

  • aged three or four years old;
  • in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA);
  • receiving the Early Years Entitlement at a childcare provider in Torbay.

This funding is NOT available:

  • for Four-year olds in maintained, academy or free school reception classes;
  • to any childcare provider who is not claiming any Early Years Entitlement for the child.

Children will be eligible where they take-up any period of free entitlement. Eligible children do not need to take up all of their 570 Early Years Entitlement hours to be able to access the Disability Access Fund.

Funding is paid at £800 per year to one childcare provider nominated by the parent. Parents whose children attend more than one provider need to be aware that only one payment can be made and they must nominate which provider that should be.

It is up to the childcare provider how the Disability Access Fund is spent. It cannot be used to pay for additional hours.

Early years providers are responsible for identifying eligible children. Parents of children qualifying for Disability Living Allowance are required to provide the letter from the Department for Work and Pensions which proves the award of DLA as evidence of entitlement. Providers need to take a copy of this evidence to include alongside applications.

Once funding for the year is paid, it will not be reclaimed even if the child leaves the setting. If the child then moves to a different setting, the new setting will not be able to receive any Disability Access Fund payment until the following financial year. 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 Disability Access Fund for the child and eligibility checking.

To apply for the Disability Access Fund, please complete the application form.

  Download Disability Access Fund application form