SEN Support

for early years and childcare providers

SEN Inclusion Fund

Cambridgeshire’s new SEN Inclusion Fund (SENIF) for 3- and 4- year-olds receiving free early years education entitlement is now up and running.

While recognising that “children develop at their own rates and in their own ways” (EYFS Framework 2017), children with additional needs may benefit from additional support. The two tiers of funding within the SENIF aim to build on existing good practice, and support providers to address the needs of individual children with SEN and improve child outcomes.

SEN Inclusion Funding should only be applied for where a setting is positive that they will be able to promote inclusion and achievement for a child or group.

SENIF Guidance and SENIF – Criteria and Thresholds provide more information about the thresholds and processes for application.

Applications can be made by completing an Early Help Assessment (EHA) and attaching a SENIF Tiers 2/3 application form with any supporting documentation. The EHA should clearly state that it is for the attention of SENIF Panel. Applications for children with an existing EHA or open CAF can be sent directly to the SENIF panel.

SENIF panel will meet weekly. Applications are considered within a month of receiving them and decisions communicated with settings. Not all applications will be successful.

Parents must be involved in the decision to apply for support from the SENIF, and be in agreement with the application.

Providers can also access the new Disability Access Fund payment and EY Pupil Premium. The Disability Access Fund is for children who receive Disability Living Allowance. It will require the parent/carer to name one setting for the yearly payment.

The hourly rate paid to providers is intended as a contribution to supporting the child’s needs.

Contact details

Quality Assurance Team


Tel: 01223 699732