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The implementation of an early years inclusion fund (EYIF) is a statutory duty of all local authorities. Children in Derbyshire settings are eligible for EYIF if:

  • they are aged 2-4 years old until the end of their last term (usually Summer 2) in nursery/preschool
  • and in receipt of a funded place – either a two-year-old funded place, or a 15 or 30 hour funded 3- and 4-year-old funded place.

The funding is available to children attending Derbyshire settings. Their needs may be emerging or they may have significant barriers to learning. It is available to children who attend either a non-maintained or maintained setting. EYIF is not available to childminders unless they employ an assistant and are able to enhance their staff ratios.

EYIF is not intended to provide continuous 1:1 support for children. Good provision balances individual intervention with independence and inclusion. EYIF provides top-up funding to enable settings to enhance staffing ratios. This gives better support to children who need strategies which are additional to or different from the normally available differentiated offer of provision. A high proportion of 1:1 support is only awarded to children with:

  • life threatening medical needs
  • profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

The allocation of EYIF may mean that for the majority of children with SEND, an Education Health and Care needs assessment will no longer be necessary.  EYIF is part of the provision made at targeted and specialist level of the graduated response. Settings should submit applications which  show that a child's needs and barriers to learning require additional funding above the resources normally available to them. Applications must show evidence of the graduated response to the child’s needs through cycles of the assess, plan, do, review model.

The EYIF panel meet every week to assess and moderate applications for funding. If the application is successful, the setting can claim funding from the week after the application is considered by the panel. Decision letters are sent out accordingly.

NEW applications for funding must now be made online using the Early Years SEN Inclusion Fund Application Form. Settings need to create an account. Having an account means that settings can return to forms that they are not able to complete in one go. There is a supporting guide to completing the online form in the Related Documents section of this page.

Evaluations and requests for continued funding should also be made online using the Early Years SEN Inclusion Fund Evaluation Form.

For nursery children who are starting school in September, applications for Inclusion Panel funding for September should be made by the school using the Inclusion Panel Referral Form. These applications will be accepted in the summer term for funding decisions to be made in time to allow schools to plan staffing ahead of the start of the new school year.

Other documents supporting EYIF are attached to the Related Documents section of this page.

Information for parents

EYIF is available for funded children with SEN attending Derbyshire early years settings. It enables access to extra funding to support their inclusion in the setting. The EYIF panel may also signpost settings to other services/resources which could offer additional advice and support.

All applications for EYIF must be made by the setting. It would usually be the SENDCO or nursery manager who completes the application form. They do not have to ask for your consent, but we would expect them to talk to you about this as part of working with you to support your child. There is a parent form that you can complete as part of the application.

Related documents