Early Education and Childcare Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities places a requirement on Local Authorities to establish an Early Years Inclusion Fund to support Early Education Funded 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) is available where children are accessing Early Education Funding at the setting.
By law all providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities. The Early Years Foundation Stage framework (2017) (opens a new window) 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) (opens a new window) and the Equality Act (2010) (opens a new window). 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.
Effective and appropriate use of the funding
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) (opens a new window). 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.
How applications are considered
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.
When to apply
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 - Summer Term 2022
Application Window opens Monday 21 February 2022 @ 9am
Application Window closes Friday 11 March 2022 @ 5pm
Important things to check and consider before making an application
- 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.
Reasons applications may be rejected or not considered
- Where a child is not accessing Early Education Funding
- 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
Sample application forms
Apply for EYSIF online
Please note: Files of supporting information must not exceed 1MB each; larger files might cause the submission of the form to fail.
Having a problem applying?
Enquiries about applying online or uploading files should be directed to early.years @achievingforchildren.org.uk
Phone: 020 8547 5215