Early years inclusion funding - is your under 5 eligible?

Local authorities must ensure that all providers delivering funded early education places meet the needs of children with Special Educational Needs, and disabilities (SEND). Early identification is a priority and all those who work with young children in settings should be alert to emerging difficulties and respond early.

Early years inclusion funding is provided to support a child who has been identified as showing early signs of SEN, but hasn’t yet been through the diagnosis process. When applying, the early years setting should show their arrangements include a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN.

Any provider who is registered to offer free early education can apply for early years inclusion funding, and can now do this online. The main changes are as follows:-

  • The application is now a short, electronic form.
  • Applications can now only be submitted for individual children, there are no cluster/group applications.
  • Funding will be a set rate of £250 per child applied for per term.
  • If a child is attending hours split across multiple settings, then only the setting where the majority of hours are being accessed can apply.
  • When submitting an application, the provider must confirm that the child has been assessed as having an emerging additional need and that he/she is receiving support from a professional for the emerging need.
  • The child must not be in receipt of exceptional needs funding (ENF)

New updated guidance covering inclusion funding can be found on the Local Offer website.

How do you know if your child is eligible?

A child who is eligible will have an emerging additional need in one or more of the following areas:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Sensory and/or Physical Development

 Find out more from your local 0-5 SEND team or your nursery setting. 

Read the full guidance here

or speak to your early years setting for more information.


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