Skip to main content

Early Years SEND Funding

Most early years settings can support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) by following the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and most children’s needs are met without additional funding. Bedford Borough has co-produced with a range of key stakeholders 'Guidance on Meeting Special Educational Needs in the Early Years – A Graduated Response 2020’ which provides guidance to all Families, Early Years Practitioners and Health and Social Care Professionals to support planning and decision making for special educational needs and disability (SEND), in relation to children who are eligible for funded nursery education. You can view this Graduated Response here

All local authorities are required to establish an inclusion support fund for two to four year olds with SEND who are taking up the Free Early Years Education Entitlement (FEEE). Your childcare provider will apply for this additional funding based on the criteria and thresholds set. Providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEND.

If an early years setting is on the Ofsted register, they can apply for this funding if they are a:

  • childminder
  • nursery or pre-school
  • school with a nursery offering FEEE funding

The funding can be used to pay towards an enhanced level of adult support for a child based on criteria

The setting must use the funding to:

  • give support to the child  
  • help the child to feel included
  • help the child to take part in activities
  • keep the child safe

They cannot use the funding to:

  • buy training
  • buy resources  
  • set up or attend meetings

There are a small number of children who may require an extra level of support to access their early education and childcare place. Below is a list of funding sources available: