Childcare for children with SEND

Childcare for children with SEND

For children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan or receive Disability Living Allowance.

All children can attend early years settings (nursery, pre-school, playgroup, child-minders). Some offer spaces for babies, others offer spaces from 2 years upwards.  

Early years settings work to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework; the standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years.

Your child will be entitled to up to 15 hours a week of free childcare from the term after their second birthday if:

  • your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • or receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA) 

If your child doesn't have an EHCP or receive DLA, there are other criteria that might mean your 2-year-old could receive free childcare. You can check the criteria here: Free childcare for 2 year olds.

All children are eligible for 15 hours of free early education per week from the term after their 3rd birthday. Free childcare for children aged 3 to 4 years.

Where a child with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) attends a specialist setting (such as a Special School Nursery Assessment Unit or an Early Years Language Class), the funded hours must be allocated to these settings first before they are used with another setting. If a child attends a specialist setting for less than their free entitlement, children will be able to receive their remaining hours at any other funded setting. 

You should not be charged for the free hours. Some childcare providers offer free hours at specific times and many providers charge for extra services (e.g. lunch, nappies, and specific additional activities). The cost of these extra services should be clear and transparent to parents.

Disability Access Fund

If your 3 or 4 year old is in receipt of a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) then your childcare setting can access a Disability Access Fund. This is £828 per year that goes to the childcare setting of your choice to enable them to meet your child's needs. You will need to say on your Parent Declaration Form that your child receives DLA and provide a copy of the DLA letter to your setting as proof.  If you are using more than one setting, you must decide which receives the Fund (it can only go to one setting). You will get a Parent Declaration Form from your childcare setting.

Early Years support for younger children

Worcestershire Children First Early Years team works with early years and childcare settings in Worcestershire to ensure all children access high quality early years education and care to support individual children to achieve their maximum potential in learning and development. 

More information about the Early Years Inclusion Team can be found here: Early Years Inclusion

Other non-SEND specific information about childcare:



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