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Latest information and advice

The government's 'Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)' sets legal standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old.

All schools and registered early-years providers, including childminders, pre-schools, nurseries and school reception classes, must follow the EYFS.

It gives professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver high quality early education and childcare to all children. And it gives parents and carers the confidence that they'll get, by law, the same commitment wherever their child goes.

The EYFS and children with special educational needs or disabilities

The EYFS describes the arrangements that must be in place to identify and support children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

Early years providers should use a graduated approach: providing appropriate activities and support for individual children according to their needs. If a child has greater difficulties than others in learning and developing skills, and the gap is widening, they may need SEND support.

Most children won't usually need additional funding at this stage: the provider should be able to use effective strategies and intervention to make a positive impact.

But, some children will need extra funding to make progress.

In these cases providers can apply for 'early years additional SEND funding' to make the best use of a child's 15 hours of term-time early education.

Apply for funding

Read the guidance on eligibility and how to apply for this additional funding:

In recognition of the transient nature of early years settings at present, we are applying greater flexibility to the application process for the autumn term. Rather than the normal two deadlines for receipt of applications, they will be accepted as follows:

Round 1 10 July 2020
Round 2 14 August 2020
Round 3 11 September 2020
Round 4 17 October 2020

Applications should be submitted by 5pm on the specified date.

Applications received after the deadline will not be assessed until the next application round.