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Funding for parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities

A summary of eligibility for all funding for children with SEN and/or a disability.

Free early education for 2 year olds

You can get this funding if:

  • your child gets Disability Living Allowance
  • has an education, health and care plan
  • you are in receipt of various benefits such as Tax Credits and Income Support

See the full details for 2 year old funding.

Free early education for 3 and 4 year olds

All 3 and 4 year olds are eligible for 15 hours of free early education funding. Find out more about 3 and 4 year old funding

Funding for working parents

30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

This funding is only for working parents. It entitles parents to an extra 15 hours of free childcare, on top of their free early education hours. See full details on 30 hours free childcare.

Tax-Free Childcare

This funding is for working parents. If your child has SEN or a disability:

  • you can get this funding up until 17 years old
  • for every £8 you put into your childcare account the government will put in an extra £4

See full details on Tax-Free Childcare​.

Childcare voucher scheme

Parents who work for employers who take part in the childcare voucher scheme can get childcare vouchers to pay for childcare in exchange for a lower salary. You may be eligible if your child is under 15, or under 16 if your child has a disability, and you get a regular salary. You must also be the legal guardian of the child.

Find out more about the  childcare voucher scheme (opens in a new window)​​.

Tax Credits

If you get Working Tax Credit, and you and your partner each work at least 16 hours a week, you can claim back up to 70% of your eligible childcare costs. If your child is disabled you can claim for children up to 17.

You can't claim Universal Credits, tax credits or Tax-Free Childcare at the same time. 

Find out more about  Working Tax Credits (opens in a new window)​​​.

You may be eligible for Child Tax Credit, even if you're not working. Find out about  Child Tax Credits (opens in a new window)​​.

Universal Credits

You can currently claim Universal Credit if you're either a single parents (living anywhere in the UK) or couple or family living in certain areas. You must also:

  • be 18 or over
  • be under State Pension age
  • not be in full time education or training
  • not have savings over £16,000

You can't claim Universal Credits, tax credits or Tax-Free Childcare at the same time. 

Get further details on  Universal Credit (opens in a new window)​​.

Funding for parents who are studying 

If you're studying you could get a Childcare Grant, Discretionary Learner Support or Care to Learn.

There is extended eligibility available for children with SEN and/or a disability for the Childcare Grant and Discretionary Learner Support.

Find out more about all funding for parents who are studying

Support in the childcare setting

Your childcare provider may be eligible for funding to support your child's needs in the setting. Find out more on our provider page.

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