SEND and Inclusion

Early Years SEN Inclusion Fund

Settings, Childminders and school nurseries can apply for additional funding to support children with identified Special Educational Needs in their setting.

The Inclusion Fund is available to support funded children aged 2,3 and 4 in nursery schools and classes, private or voluntary settings or with Childminders.

The Inclusion Fund is for those children who already have identified needs and have agencies working together to support them. It will be based on the needs of the child and will support the practitioners to improve the child’s early learning and development outcomes.

The application process will use the existing assessments made by the early years provider and other agencies as a basis for funding allocation. The level of funding awarded will vary depending on the child’s level of need and may be used by the provider to enhance staffing ratios for part of the week in order to meet the child’s needs.


EYIF Packages

There are two parts to the EYIF packages these are 'child level support' and 'provider level support'.

Child Level Support

The funding is used to provide direct adult support for a child. This could include:

  • Small group interventions
  • One to one intervention
  • Support for specific times of the day
  • Enhanced room ratio

The funding should be used to support children to meet their full potential. These packages are referred to as Level 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Provider Level of Support

The provider level of support offers continuous professional development opportunities / training sessions for practitioners. The package of CPD will be tailored towards the child's needs. 

See the table of EYIF packages below:

Package Level of funding


Additional to free


Additional Support
EYIF Level 1 None  


Access to funded places on short training sessions designed to support practitioners to meet the needs of the child.


Online guidance documents


Online training packages to support dissemination

EYIF Level 2 £550 per term
EYIF Level 3 £1100 per term
EYIF Level 4 £1650 per term

CPD and training opportunities

Training Course Title:
Assessing Progress for Children with SEND
Aided Language Stimulation
Promoting Positive Behaviour
Social Communication and Interaction

The above table lists the training sessions available as part of the EYIF packages. These sessions are only available to practitioner’s working with a child who has been awarded the Early Years Inclusion Fund. Settings will receive an invitation stating how many places they have been allocated and on which session.


How and when do I apply?

Settings apply by submitting an application to the Early Years SEN Inclusion Panel, where it will be assessed against a matrix of development to determine a child’s level of needs.

The provider must submit the following documentation, fully completed, to the panel by the deadline:

Each application will be considered in its own merit. The panel will not have access to documents submitted to previous panels, therefore please submit all documents you wish to be considered in order to build a complete picture of the child's needs.

Next application deadline for Inclusion Funding:

Thursday 16th May 2024 by 4:00pm

***Late applications will not be accepted***

Inclusion Fund - autumn 2024 

  • Deadline date - Thursday 16th May 2024 by 4:00pm
  • Panel date - Thursday 13th June 2024

Inclusion Fund - spring 2025 (1st Panel)

  • Deadline date - Thursday 12th September 2024 by 4:00pm
  • Panel date - Thursday 10th October 2024

Inclusion Fund - spring 2025 (2nd panel)

  • Deadline date - Thursday 31st October 2024 by 4:00pm
  • Panel date - Thursday 5th December 2024

Inclusion Fund - summer 2025 

  • Deadline date - TBC
  • Panel date - TBC

N.B. These dates are subject to change.

Applications need to be emailed to


Change of circumstances

In the event of a child in receipt of Inclusion Funding transferring to a different provision, or leaving their current provision, a change of circumstances form should be completed and signed by the child's parent or carer and emailed to


Information sharing via email

Recently, you may have noticed that Start Well SEND has reduced usage of #secure# to send information to you via email.
This change has occurred following advice from Bolton ICT services assuring the security of email correspondence.

We strongly advise that you assess your own security arrangements before sending any sensitive or confidential information to Start Well SEND.

As previously noted (from the 1st August 2023), we reserve the right to reject any emails containing password protected documents or documents sent in JPEG, PNG, GIF, or any other photo format. 

While discouraging its use, we will continue to accept emails via Egress, if you deem it necessary, and have no alternative means of sending secure emails. However, should you use Egress, it is your responsibility to ensure that “requests for access” are actioned promptly.

For further information, please contact:

Start Well SEND
Telephone: 01204 338149


Early Help Assessment and Review Guidance

Early Help Assessments and reviews are the mechanism used for application for the Inclusion Fund. It is important that these are completed accurately in order to give a clear picture of the child’s needs and what, when and who is required to support the child and their family. It is important that the information is clear, concise and accurate in telling the ‘story of the child’. The guidance below will help you understand what to consider when completing these forms.

When completing your Early Years Inclusion Fund application, if you have any questions or queries, you may find they can be answered by looking through the frequently asked questions document below.


Children under Social Services

If a child is currently under Social Services, then professionals can use the following form instead of an Early Help Assessment: Referral form for children receiving a service from Social Care.