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SEND funding for childcare professionals

Inclusion grants make sure that children with additional needs, are included in early education and childcare. The inclusion grant is for day nurseries, pre schools, extended day pre schools. nursery units of independent schools and playwork settings.

Click on the links below to move down the page and find out more.

What is it for?

This grant is available to make sure that children with additional needs, are included in early education and childcare.

Every provider will expect to have children with additional needs at some time. Through careful planning and organisation most of these children are able to fully join in with the activities you offer. And providers are expected to plan for inclusion (for example through your special educational needs or inclusion policy) and set aside staff resources (for example special education needs coordinator time). You can get support and advice from the Supporting Children Team but there may be times when you need extra funding.

The inclusion grant is available to support settings with extra staff time and resources, for example:

  • for smaller groups or higher staff ratios at certain times or for certain activities, depending on the level of additional needs in the group
  • the setting's special educational needs coordinator may need extra time to carry out their role
  • there may be more than the usual number of children with additional needs in the setting
  • a setting may want to implement a new behaviour policy for the whole setting and need an extra member of staff for a limited period of time to get it fully established
  • to buy equipment to meet the specific needs within a group, which are different from or extra to general resources. We cannot fund resources that should be part of your everyday provision through this grant.

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What is considered an additional need?

For this grant an additional need includes a physical, sensory or learning disability, English as an additional language, difficulties in areas such as communications, attention or behaviour and problems which may be related to children from socially excluded families.

The children may or may not be on the Social Services Disability Register and may or may not be considered as needing support through the Department for Education (DfE) Code of Practice for the Identification and Assessment of Specific Education Needs.

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How do I apply?

Contact your area SEND Team for more information and an application form:

north east:
north west:
south east:
south west:

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How will you decide?

A panel decides if the applications are suitable. To help you plan your application we have listed some of the reasons why your application may fail. You will not be given a grant:

  • for one to one staffing for a specific child
  • to subsidise places
  • if not enough information has been given about how you would use the grant
  • if inclusion is not the main reason for the application
  • if the application form is not filled in properly.

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What happens when I have applied?

Your application will be taken to a panel which will decide if it is suitable for funding. The panel meet regularly and you will find out within two weeks of the panel meeting if your application has been successful or not.

If you are successful we will write or email you and tell you and we'll send you a Conditions of Grant form. We need to have your signed Conditions of Grant form back before we can give you the funding.

If the grant is for you to buy equipment with, you will need to give us evidence (such as a receipt) that you have bought it within six months of getting the grant. If you applied for extra staff support time you will need to submit an application form each year if you need ongoing support. Your SEND Advisor can review this with you.

If your application was not successful we will write and tell you why. And we will give you information about the appeals process.