Early Education and Childcare Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities places a requirement on Local Authorities to establish an Early Years Inclusion Fund to support 2, 3 and 4 year olds with emerging Special Educational Needs (SEN) or disabilities. Across Achieving for Children (AfC) the Early Years Special Educational Needs Inclusion Fund (EYSIF) will replace previous funding available to early years settings in Kingston - the Inclusion Grant and in Richmond - the SEND Grant. 

By law all providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities. The Early Years Foundation Stage framework (2017 states that:

‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential.'

In response to identified SEN settings are required to adopt a graduated assess, plan, do, review to support the child's needs. Providers must also have regard to the SEND Code of Practice (2014) and the Equality Act (2010).  The SEND Code of Practice outlines four areas of special educational need that include a range of difficulties and conditions; communication and interaction, cognition and learning, social, emotional and mental health and sensory and/or physical.

The majority of children with additional or special educational needs will not require special resources or enhanced staffing to be successfully included in settings; most settings meet the additional needs of their children very well. However some children with complex needs may benefit from inclusion funding for a time limited period, or from the provision of additional resources or equipment. The EYSIF can be used to support children aged two, three and four years old, who attend a Private, Voluntary or Independent setting, maintained nursery or childminder in either Kingston or Richmond. It cannot be used to support children who are in the Reception class of a maintained school.

In January 2017 the Schools Forum agreed that AfC have allocated an initial £170,000 for Kingston and £176,000 for Richmond. The variation in numbers of children within each borough account for the differentiation in allocations. It is expected that providers will evidence how they have utilised the resources that are routinely available to maximise the support for individual children before applying for Inclusion funding.  Providers receive support receive advice from the Early Years Service on inclusive practice, Inclusion and Improvement Advisers offer support to settings in identifying emerging needs and working with children up to SEN Support level.

We anticipate that where interventions are effective, that funding for two or three terms should be sufficient for most children to make progress.  For some children with complex on-going needs settings should consider making a request for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)EYSIF is designed to support settings working with children in the short term as part of a cycle of targeted support and coordinated interventions. Applications must evidence a graduated response of assessment, plan, do and review. Targeted interventions must be implemented with full consent of parents and ongoing co-production. 

Funding for one to one support is not available and settings should not make staffing decisions made on assumptions on or the possibility of funding. It cannot be used to support children who are in the Reception class of a maintained school or in within specialist nursery provisions or units. 

Applications will be considered by a panel consisting of member of the EY Service, SEND team and the Educational Psychology Service (EPS). Please remember that applications are for support for the following term.

In Richmond settings will continue to apply a term in advance for support via the EYSIF, as was the case with the SEND Grant.

In Kingston the EYSIF replaces the Inclusion Grant. Kingston settings will now be required to make termly applications per child.

Early Years SEN Inclusion Fund Applications for Spring 2020 window opens:-

Monday 21st October  2019  @ 9.00am and closes Monday 11th November  2019  @ 5pm.

  • Have you sought advice from your Inclusion and Improvement Adviser, or SENCo if you are a school? 
  • Have you received parental consent prior to making this application? You will be required to upload this at the start of your application.
  • Are you able to evidence the assess, plan, do and review process in practice? 
  • Have you reviewed at least one Individual Targeted Plan (ITP)? 
  • Is there evidence that the setting SENCo has supported the application? 
  • Has the setting manager reviewed the information on this form? They need to agree that all information is accurate as applications are subject to audit. 
  • Inclusive practice is not evident
  • Current parental consent has not been submitted with the application 
  • There is no evidence of the assess, plan, do review in place 
  • Where the request is for a ‘1-1’ member of staff as we are unable to fund individual members of staff. 
  • Lack of clear evidence of targeted interventions by the setting prior to application 
  • There is no evidence of reviews having taken place 
  • There is no evidence of parental involvement in reviews  
  • Where no Individual Targeted Plan (ITP) has been submitted 
  • Where information is insufficient to allow the panel to make an informed decision
  • Where applications are received past the submission deadline 
  • Where the setting or school SENCo has not been involved 
  • Where the manager has not signed and agreed the terms and conditions 
  • Where audit had identified concerns ‚Äč

Sample EYSIF application form1 (opens a pdf)

Sample EYSIF application form 2 (opens a pdf)

Sample EYSIF application form 3 (opens a pdf)

Sample EYSIF application form 4 (opens a pdf)


Apply online for Early Years Special Educational Needs Inclusion Fund (EYSIF) (opens a form on the Richmond upon Thames Council website)

Please note:

  • Files of supporting information must not exceed 1MB each; larger files might cause the submission of the form to fail.


Enquiries about applying online or uploading files should be directed to early.years @achievingforchildren.org.uk 

Linda Brown

Phone:020 8547 5215