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 interventions 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.

Making an application

Please note under the current circumstances paper applications will not be accepted, applications need to be made using the online application form.

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 will continue to apply greater flexibility to the application process for this term. Applications should be submitted to meet one of these deadlines:

  • Round 1: Friday 6 May 2022
  • Round 2: Friday 8 July 2022

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

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