Childcare for children with SEND

A girl on a slide in a park.

Brighton & Hove's Family Information Service offers a wide range of information and advice for families including help to find the childcare that’s right for you and your child. You can search online for all local Ofsted-registered childcare on the Family Services Directory. This includes day care for under 5s, after-school and holiday clubs for older children, as well as home-based childcare. 

Extra support to find childcare for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

If your child has a disability or additional needs, you might need some extra help when you are looking for a childcare place. The Family Information Service has a Childcare Brokerage Officer who you can contact to discuss your needs. They will search for childcare providers for you and contact them to discuss what you need.

The Childcare Brokerage Officer can also arrange appointments for you to visit childcare providers. Contact the Family Information Service for more information. Call 01273 293545 or send us a message online using our enquiry form.

Additional Early Years Support Funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Additional funding is available to support disabled children to attend childcare. This cannot pay for childcare fees, but can contribute towards the costs of making the childcare possible, such as additional staff support, specialist equipment or toys that might be suitable for your child. Additional Support Funding (previously called the Childcare Inclusion Fund) is only available for pre-school children in receipt of free early learning (the early years free entitlement or EYFE). Visit the Family Services Directory for information regarding EYFE for 2, 3 and 4 year olds, including eligibility, how to apply, and a list of childcare providers.

For more information, download our fact sheet about Additional Early Years Support Funding for Children with SEND [pdf 32kb]. 

Ask your childcare provider about additional support funding, or contact the Family Information Service

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is a one-off annual payment of £615 to childcare providers for three and four year olds who are receiving their Early Years Funding Entitlement (EYFE) in the city and who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Eligibility is from the term after the child’s third birthday. Four year olds who are in primary school reception classes are not eligible for the DAF. 

Early years providers are responsible for identifying children eligible for DAF.

DAF is separate from Additional Support Funding (see above). Payment of DAF will not affect children’s eligibility for Additional Support Funding. 

DAF is there to help children with additional needs to access their EYFE. It is designed to ensure children with special educational needs and disabilities can access their early years place, for example by making adjustments to their nursery or pre-school. This adjustment may be for the individual child for whom the DAF payment is made or for the benefit of children as a whole attending the setting. For example, the DAF may be used to pay for staff training to support a child’s specific needs. Or, if a child needs a piece of specialist equipment to attend a setting, the DAF should contribute to this.

For more information, download our fact sheet for parents and carers on the Disability Access Fund (DAF) [pdf 156kb].

At-Home Childcare Service

If you would prefer to have your child looked after in your own home, then the At-Home Childcare Service may meet your needs. 

The At-Home Childcarers listed on the directory are all:

  • registered with Ofsted
  • have had a security check (DBS, which used to be called CRB)
  • have a childcare qualification
  • are insured
  • have a current paediatric first aid certificate.

You can search for an At-Home Childcarer or contact the Family Information Service using this form if you need some help.

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