2. Disability Access Fund (DAF)

The disability Access Fund of £881, is payable as a lump sum once a year per eligible child.

It aids access to early years places by, for example, supporting providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings and/or helping with building capacity (be that for the child in question or for the benefit of children as a whole attending the setting).

If an eligible child is splitting their free entitlement across two or more providers, the parents will need to nominate the main setting where the local authority should make the DAF payment. This can be done by using the parent declaration form.


Three and 4-year olds will be eligible for the Disability Access Fund (DAF) if they are attending an early years setting that provides the free early education entitlement, and meet the following criteria:

  • The child is in receipt of child disability living allowance and;
  • The child receives free early education.

(Note: four-year olds in primary school reception classes are not eligible for DAF funding).

Children do not have to take up the full 570 hours of early education they are entitled to in order to receive the DAF.

If a child receiving DAF moves from one setting to another within a financial year, the new setting is not eligible to receive DAF funding for this child within the same financial year. DAF funding received by the original setting will not be recouped.

In cases where a child who lives in one authority area attends a provider in a different local authority, the provider’s local authority is responsible for funding the DAF for the child and eligibility checking.

The payment process

The settings of three- and four-year-olds eligible for the DAF will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £881 per year. The DAF is not based on an hourly rate and is an additional entitlement.

Providers will need to check that the child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Providers will need to upload this evidence via the online provider portal when making a free entitlement claim for the child.

Payments will be made as an adjustment alongside the three and four year old free entitlement funding. Payments will be processed at the next payment point as outlined in provider payment timetable.