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Apply for Inclusion Funding for children with high needs

Inclusion funding may be available to early years settings, to support them with providing an inclusive environment that meets the needs of all children. Children must be in receipt of Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE), to be eligible for inclusion funding.

Most children with special educational needs are successfully included in early years settings with reasonable adjustments. For children with complex needs, inclusion funding can be applied for to enhance the provision to support the inclusion of these children.

Funding is also available to buy special equipment for individual children, when recommended by an Occupational Therapist.

Who can apply

If you're an Ofsted registered early years provider educating children with very complex needs, you may be eligible to apply for inclusion funding – if the child is in receipt of Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE).

We accept applications for funding for children who attend Leicestershire Early Years Providers only. For children that live in Leicestershire, but attend a non-Leicestershire provider, then the provider will request funding from their local authority.

For children that live outside of Leicestershire, but attend a Leicestershire provider, then the provider will request funding from Leicestershire.

When you can apply

Early Years providers can apply for inclusion funding throughout the year. Following provider feedback, panels are now held once a month throughout term time. Applications received will be reviewed at the next available panel.

Any funding allocated, will be from the date of the panel. Panel decision forms will clearly state how long the funding has been awarded for. Providers are expected to reapply, if needed, to support possible continuation of funding.

Guide to applying for SEN Inclusion Funding

Guide to applying for Early Years Inclusion Funding

From September 2022, funding will no longer be allocated on a ‘hours’ basis, but on a ‘banding’ basis. Children will be funded for the FEEE hours they attend only, unless they are under three and not yet in receipt of FEEE but have significant needs. When making any decisions regarding inclusion funding, the panel will use the Early Years Inclusion Funding Matrix (see below). This ensures consistency in funding allocated across the county; so, children with similar needs are awarded the same funding band. Providers are also reminded to claim Disability Access Fund (DAF) for eligible children to help support children within the provision.

There are three different forms that are available when applying for inclusion funding. There is the Inclusion Funding application form, the Inclusion Funding group application form, and the transition funding application form.

Individual Inclusion Funding

Panel will review all individual applications and award funding in the following bands:

  • Band 0 – No allocation of additional funds. Applications are in line with Reasonable Adjustments
  • Band 1 – A child with emerging needs. This will be funded at £2 per child to match hours attended in the following brackets:
     

    "1a – 0-9 hours child attends per week
    1b – 10-15 hours child attends per week
    1c – 16-25 hours child attends per week
    1d – 26-30 hours child attends per week"

  • Band 2 – A child with developing needs. This will be funded at £3 per child to match hours attended in the following brackets:
     

    "2a – 0-9 hours child attends per week 
    2b – 10-15 hours child attends per week
    2c – 16-25 hours child attends per week
    2d – 26-30 hours child attends per week"

  • Band 3 – A child with significant needs. This will be funded at £5.50 per child to match hours attended in the following brackets:
     

    "3a – 0-9 hours child attends per week 
    3b – 10-15 hours child attends per week
    3c – 16-25 hours child attends per week
    3d – 26-30 hours child attends per week"

  • Band 4 – Funding for 2-year-olds with additional needs. This will be funded at £1.50 per child to match hours attended in the following brackets:
     

    "4a – 0-9 hours child attends per week 
    4b – 10-15 hours child attends per week"

Group Inclusion Funding

From September 2022, we are also introducing Group Funding. Group funding is aimed at groups of three or more children from the same provider with identified SEND or additional needs who have similar outcomes and need targeted group work which is ‘additional to and different from’ universal EYFS provision.

Funding can be allocated to provide enhanced group support. This is a single application for the group of children. This will provide the setting with £75 a week to support these groups of children. Providers cannot apply for group funding if any of the children within the group have individual inclusion funding.

Transition Funding

This funding can be applied for in the summer term to support with additional transitional visits for children that would benefit from them due to their additional needs. Children in receipt of any other inclusion funding cannot apply for transition funding.

Monitoring of Inclusion Funding

Monitoring of Inclusion Funding will take place across the county. When monitoring, the advisor from the service will be using the matrix alongside a monitoring document. The outcomes of monitoring visits will be fed back to the provider.

Early Years Inclusion Funding FAQs

When can I apply for Inclusion Funding?

Applications are reviewed monthly throughout the academic year (during term time). Please submit any applications using Anycomms (details on the application forms) and these will be reviewed at the next available panel.

Why are there now three different forms? Which one will I need to complete?

There is the Inclusion Funding form for individual applications of support, Group Funding form for when applying for 3 or more children with similar low and emerging needs that attend your provision (one form for the group of children) and there is Transition Funding form, which can be used to apply in the summer term for additional transitional support for children starting school. Children can only be funded for one of the categories.

What can group funding be used for?

Group funding is funding allocated to the provider to support group work for children with similar low and emerging needs. For example, group funding could be used to support children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs to deliver a specific and targeted intervention, above what we would expect as a universal offer.

How long will funding be allocated for?

On the Panel Decision Form you will receive following application, it will state how long the funding is allocated for. Applications will need to be reviewed by providers and resubmitted in time to allow the panel to review the application. You will then receive a new funding panel decision form.

I am a new SENCO, will there be any training?

There will be a bitesize training available on the website, as well as example completed forms. Inclusion Funding will also be explained in the SEND training for SENCOs and Managers

What is the Matrix?

The Matrix is used in panel to ascertain if funding is allocated and what banding would be allocated. It would be beneficial for providers to use the matrix when applying for Inclusion Funding.

I have Inclusion Funding using the old model allocated for Autumn Term 2022. Is this going to be granted or do I need to reapply?

Funding allocated in the Summer Term 2022 for the Autumn Term 2022 will be honoured, but all new applications received will be using the new model.

Can I still apply for Disability Access Fund (DAF)?

Yes. Providers are encouraged to apply for DAF, for eligible children. More information can be found on the website.

A child attends 15 hours FEEE and 10 hours privately funded. I able to submit an application for the 25 hours they attend?

Children will be funded for the FEEE hours they attend only. Please specify if the child does not attend their full entitlement. This will form part of the service monitoring process.

What happens if the child leaves the provision?

Please contact the Early years Duty Desk as soon as you aware a child is leaving. We will organise the transfer or recoup of any monies paid.

What happens if the child attends more than one setting?

Best practice in these circumstances is for a joint application to be submitted and then any banding funded awarded will be shared between both provisions proportionate to the FEEE hours attended at each setting.

What happens during a monitoring visit?

Monitoring of Inclusion Funding will take places across the county. Providers are selected at random at each Funding Panel Meeting. When monitoring, the advisor from the service will be using the matrix alongside a monitoring document. The outcomes of monitoring visits will be fed back to the provider.

Can I appeal the decision?

Registered non-maintained early years settings do not have a right of appeal against the Local Authority’s decision in this area.