Disability Access Fund (DAF)
The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is additional funding for early years providers to aid access to free childcare places for disabled children.
Please note DAF is only payable once per year per eligible child.
Three and four year olds will be eligible for the DAF if they meet the following criteria:
- the child is in receipt of child disability living allowance and;
- the child receives free early education.
The early years providers of three and four year olds eligible for the DAF will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £615 per year. DAF 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 DAF. Children in receipt of DAF will be eligible where they take-up any period of free entitlement.
Early years providers are ultimately responsible for identifying eligible children.
Providers will be able to use the Parental Declaration Formfor parents to indicate that their child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance and to nominate the provider to receive the funding, if payment is due in any of the terms appearing on that year’s parental declaration.
In the first term of funding with yourselves, you will need to liaise with parents to establish any claim history, at previous settings, before you decide which term is appropriate to claim DAF.
The “nominated for DAF” box on the funding tab of the provider portal should only be ticked in terms you are claiming for.
Please ensure you tick Yes to Nominated for DAF on the provider portal for all eligible children. This is on the Funding Details tab on the child's record.
Local authorities must check that the DAF eligibility requirements are met.
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council should be satisfied that the child in question is receiving Disability Living Allowance. You will need to email a copy of the child’s Disability Living Allowance award letter and Parental Declaration Form so that we can verify the child's eligibility and check the setting the parent has nominated to receive the funding. You will need to keep a copy of this evidence on file for your records.
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council will fund all early years providers who deliver free entitlements for each child eligible for the DAF in their area, at the fixed annual rate of £615 per eligible child.
DAF should not be offset against any other funding which an authority may ordinarily be providing for children eligible for DAF.
If the parents of the child are splitting their free entitlement across two or more providers, they should nominate the main provider that they wish to receive DAF by indicating this on the parental declaration form. The local authority will pay the setting that is nominated on the form, the DAF payment for the child.
If a child receiving DAF moves from one provider to another within the year, the new provider is not eligible to receive DAF funding for this child within the year. DAF funding received by the original provider 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 DAF for the child and eligibility checking.
All early years providers who are eligible to receive early education funding for 3 and 4 year olds are also eligible to receive DAF.