Barnsley Early Start and Family Services

All young children are entitled to the best possible education which will help them become confident with a growing ability to communicate their own views, and ready to make the transition into compulsory education.

Early years providers must have arrangements in place to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). These arrangements need to include a clear approach to identifying and responding to children’s individual needs, and promoting equality of opportunity for the children in your care.

Including Me toolkit

The Including Me toolkit is our guide to support inclusive practice, and has been produced by a range of professionals. It provides information about supporting children with individual needs within early years settings to make sure a child is able to participate fully in the setting, is safe and can achieve the best possible outcomes.

The toolkit includes information on:

Barnsley Early Years Inclusion Grant

The Early Years Inclusion Grant is for early years providers to help them support the needs of individual children with lower level or emerging SEN.

The grant should be used towards providing additional resources and support where an early years provider is unable to meet the costs from their own funds, but it isn't expected to cover full costs.

There's a limited amount of funding available, meaning not all eligible applications can be awarded the grant.

Who can apply

Early years or childcare providers who are registered with Ofsted, and schools or academies who deliver 2, 3 and 4 year old funded places.

Who it's for

A 2, 3 or 4 year old funded child (excluding 4 year olds in a reception class) who:

  • has low level or emerging special educational needs, is on SEN support, and requires support which is over and above a reasonable adjustment; or
  • has more complex needs and requires a EHCP

Priority will be given to a child’s funded hours, but in exceptional circumstances consideration will be given to applications for a 2, 3, or 4 year old child who accesses wrap-around hours paid for by their parent or carer.

Children who require an enhanced ratio whilst accessing short breaks childcare places would apply for the additional funding through the short breaks process, instead of the Early Years Inclusion Grant.

What the grant covers

Funding to enhance staff-to-child ratios to provide support for an individual child with identified needs, and for the purchase or loan of specialist equipment that's needed to support those needs and has been recommended by a health professional working with the child - for example, a specialist chair.

How to apply

You can apply for the grant by filling in the application form and emailing it to us before the submission dates. Please read our guidance notes before completing your application.

You'll also need to have consent from the parent/carer of the child before applying, and will need to send us the completed early years inclusion grant consent form along with your application form.

Continuing existing funding

If a child that has already received funding requires funding for a further term, you'll need to fill in a continuation form.

To make sure there's no gap in funding you need to submit this to the last panel meeting of the term that the child is currently funded for. For example, if the child is funded for the spring 2019 term you'd need to submit your continuation application for the summer term by 21 March, to go to panel on 28 March.

See the submission dates for more details.

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

The DAF is for 3 and 4 year olds who receive child Disability Living Allowance and who are receiving the free Early Education Fund entitlement.

DAF is paid to the child’s early years setting as a fixed annual rate of £615 per eligible child. This funding is not payable for children attending a reception class.

Parents can apply for their childcare provider to claim the DAF for their child by filling in the application form. This should then be emailed to us.

For more information about the DAF contact our admissions service.

Short breaks

Short breaks offer an opportunity for a disabled child to experience enjoyable activities suitable to their needs whilst giving parents, carers and siblings a valuable break from their caring responsibilities.

A short break can last from a few hours to several days, and can be in the form of:

  • day care, including day nurseries and childminders (family centres during term time only)
  • after school clubs
  • holiday clubs
  • sports and outdoor activities
  • overnight stays

To access short breaks provision the child must have a diagnosed disability which fits the short break criteria, and the family need to demonstrate how they will use the allocated time to benefit the whole family. Short breaks cannot be used to replace childcare that enables parents to work.

You can find out more about short breaks by contacting the Family Involvement and Information Officer for disabled children and young people, either by email or by calling 0800 034 5340.

More information

For more information

Call us on 0800 034 5340 or

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