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Luton Borough Council

Disabilty Access Fund


The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is a yearly payment of £615, paid directly to the early years setting providing your child’s free early years entitlement.

This could be the free 15 hours for all 3 and 4 year olds, or the 30 hours for eligible families. Please visit the 30 hours page for more information on entitlement.

It cannot be paid to an early years setting that does not offer the free entitlement. Your early years setting could be a pre-school, nursery, childminder or school; they must be Ofsted registered and on the council’s directory of early years education providers.

The DAF can only be paid to one early years setting per child per year. If your child’s free hours is split between two settings, you will need to nominate which one you would like to receive the payment.

The DAF cannot be transferred between settings. This means once it has been paid to the setting of your choice it will stay there for that year. For example if your child moves to a new early years setting, the new setting cannot ask for the DAF until the next yearly claim.

The government has not specified what the DAF can be spent on. Your setting can spend it as they see fit to support your child. However, it cannot be used to pay for additional hours of early education or childcare. Your early years setting should invite you in for a meeting to discuss your child’s needs and plan how this money can help support your child in their education.


The DAF is only available to 3 and 4 year old children that meet the following criteria:

  • the child is in receipt of child disability living allowance and
  • the child receives free early education

The early years entitlement starts the term after a child’s third birthday and can be taken as 15 hours a week (or 30 hours for eligible families) during the term. Alternatively, you can take less hours over more weeks as long as you do not take more than 570 hours per year (or 1140 for families receiving the 30 hours funding).

If your child was born between... Their funded place will start...
1 January and 31 March April after their 3rd birthday
1 April and 31 August September after their 3rd birthday
1 September and 31 December January after their 3rd birthday

Your child does not need to take all of their entitlement to be able to access the DAF.

If your child is 4 years old and is in a maintained, academy or free school reception class, they will not be eligible for the DAF.

Your childcare setting will apply for DAF on your behalf, you'll need to give them a copy of the letter from the Department for Work and Pensions which provides the evidence that your child is in receipt of DLA.

© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ