Sense-logo-300x240Charity calls for the Government to urgently address fairer funding for special needs in early years education settings

Sense the national deafblind charity, yesterday responded to the Chancellor’s endorsement of a new National Funding Formula for early years, high needs and schools, within his Budget announcement.

Sense welcomed the government’s commitment to developing a new single funding formula but expressed concerns that reforms are needed to the way early years settings are funded to recognise the additional costs of provision to children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Under the current system there is no notional SEN funding for early years providers. Recent research from Sense into access to play opportunities for children with multiple needs found that a lack of notional funding makes it harder for play providers to make their settings accessible and that as a result children are missing out on play opportunities that are vital to their emotional, social and physical development. The charity is now calling for urgent action to address the inequalities that prevent disabled children from accessing play and learning opportunities.

Kate Fitch, Head of Public Policy at Sense said:

“Sense welcomes the government’s commitment to introducing reforms to high needs funding. However, it is vital that the differences in the way schools and early years settings are funded is addressed.  Any reform to the way early years settings are funded must recognise that there are additional costs for providers offering places to children with additional needs, and the government must enable them to meet these in a timely way so that all children get the best support possible.”