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Early years inclusion funding guidance

Guidance on inclusion funding for parents, carers, and Local Offer.

Inclusion funding is money available to early year’s providers (private, voluntary and independent nurseries, maintained nursery classes and nursery schools and childminders) for supporting children with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND). The money is for use in the setting that the child attends and will be given to the provider to be used to support the needs of individual children with SEND.  

All early years settings are expected to admit children with SEND and to make provision to meet their needs. Many children will not require any additional funding at SEN support level. The childminder, nursery or school will be able to put effective strategies and interventions in place which are having a positive impact upon the child’s outcomes.

There will be some children who will require additional funding to enable the setting or school to support the child. These are children who do not have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Early Years providers can apply for inclusion funding for a child in their setting if they meet the following criteria:

  • they are accessing the early entitlement for three & four year olds (15 hours universal childcare or 30 hours extended entitlement) OR they are a two-year-old child that turns three during the term of application
  • the setting provides additional SEN support which is above what would be provided for all children
  • assessments of the child demonstrate a delay of approximately 12 months in two or more areas of learning e.g. speaking and making relationships

Your Lewisham early years setting has information on how to apply if required.

Early Years providers may apply for ‘repeated funding’ for a child who has previously accessed inclusion funding. Alongside the application form, they need to provide details on how funding was used to support the child and what impact it made. SEN support planning must be included, e.g. ‘This is My Plan’.

Providers may use this funding to provide additional resources to support the child.

Resources could include:

  • adult support for particular times when child would benefit e.g. lunchtimes, start/end of a session
  • special equipment or resources
  • training – bespoke/INSET or attendance/cover to attend training
  • staff cover for TAC meetings, time to write referrals, EHC requests or SENCO time