Children and young people with SEND and their families may be entitled to additional financial support. This page will set out some of the financial support which may be available.
- Funding for childcare and under-5s
A number of government funding streams are available to help you meet the cost of childcare. Some of these are universally available, some are means tested and some are for parents with a child with a disability. For more information, see our funded childcare information.
Some children are entitled to free early education from the term after their 2nd birthday if they meet particular criteria including entitlement to disability living allowance or if they have an education, health and care plan. Further information can be found at Childcare and Paying for childcare: Special educational needs and disabilities.
- Funding for over-16s
16-19 bursary fund
Young people aged 16-19 could get help with education-related costs if they are studying at school or college in England or on a training course, including unpaid work experience. This bursary can help with the cost of transport, meals, clothing, books and equipment. For more information please visit the government webpage.
Disabled students’ allowance
It may be possible for people studying a further education course to get additional money to support their studies through the Disabled Students’ Allowance depending on circumstances. The government provides more information at GOV.UK – Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).
Healthcare and social work students may be eligible for a bursary through the NHS Disabled Students’ Allowance. See NHS Student Bursaries for more information.
- Childcare support for parents who want to study
You may be eligible for help with your learning costs if you:
- are a full-time higher education student
- have children under 15, or under 17 if they have special educational needs
For more information, visit Gov.uk – The Childcare Grant
The Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study.
- Disabled Facilities Grants
What is the Disabled Facilities Grant?
The Disabled Facilities Grant is money for people who are or could be, registered disabled. You can use this money to adapt your home. If you have a disabled child (anyone under 16 years old) or a disabled young person who is under 19 and in full time education living with you, you are entitled to a disabled facilities grant.
How do I get a disabled facilities grant?
Contact Care Direct at Devon County Council on 0345 1551 007 to arrange for an occupational therapist to visit. The occupational therapist will assess your needs for an adaptation and if a disabled facilities grant is recommended they will send a referral to your district council.
You can find more information about disabled facilities grants by visiting the relevant page on your district council website. The links below will take you straight to the correct page:
- Exeter City Council
- Teignbridge District Council
- South Hams District Council
- North Devon District Council
- Mid Devon District Council
- East Devon District Council
- Torridge District Council
- West Devon Borough Council
If you believe a minor adaptation to your home or specialist equipment could support you to remain independent, please contact Devon County Council by ringing Care Direct on 0345 1551 007.
You can apply for a disabled facilities grant if you own your home, rent from a private landlord or housing association or live with family.
Typical disabled facilities grant works include:
- installing stair lifts
- replacing a bath with a level access shower
- widening doorways
- providing ramps
Grants are approved on the cost of the eligible works up to a maximum of £30,000.
Find out more information about these grants.
What if my child is over 18?
When you are over 18, you can get small pieces of equipment to help you stay independent in your home. We use prescriptions for this equipment to give you more control and choice over the equipment you have – you choose what you want and where to get it. The process is simple, quick and free, and you can get independent help and information if you need it. You can phone Care Direct on 0345 1551 007 for help with this.
- Help from national charities and support groups
Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people.
Turn2us is a national charity helping people when times get tough. They provide financial support to help people get back on track.
Computer and assistive technology grants.
CrackerJacks Children’s Trust
Crackerjacks provides grants to disabled children and young people throughout the UK.
It’s able to offer grants between £250 and £1,000 towards specialised equipment. This might include a specialised wheelchair, bikes and trikes and sensory toys.
The charity also has a respite home near Bream sands in Somerset – “Ray’s Sunshine Holiday Home”. It has ramped access and a pull-out bed in the living area for a child in a wheelchair. A supporting letter is required from the child’s doctor, social worker or special school.
To apply: download an application form from the website.
Chips, the charity of the casino and gaming industry provides specialised powered wheelchairs for children and young people with varying disabilities.
It will only fund powered wheelchairs not provided by the NHS.
Applications can be made using the preliminary online application form. Each application is considered on its own merits and depends on available funds at the time of the application. For more information go to:
The Children’s Hope Foundation
The Hope Foundation aims to improve the lives of children and young people affected by illness, disability or poverty. It provides funding for anything (with a few exceptions) that will benefit the child such as medical equipment, computers, holidays and days out.
To apply: download the online application form (the ‘Downloads’ link in the Footer of any page on the Children’s Hope Foundation website). Financial details are required.
The charity also has a caravan holiday home in East Sussex for children (and their families) between the ages of 3-17 who ‘have special needs’.
The caravan is not adapted but does have a ramp for disabled access.
It will accept direct applications as well as applications from appropriate professionals. To apply: download the online holiday application form.
Children’s Heart Federation
The Children’s Heart Federation provides information and practical support to children and young people with congenital and acquired heart conditions and their families.
Professionals such as cardiac nurses, social workers or advice workers are able to apply for grants towards specialist equipment and unexpected family costs such as travel expenses to hospital.
To apply: the sponsoring professional must use the online application form. There is guidance on the eligibility criteria that must be consulted before application.
The Federation also organises family trips and respite.
Children Today helps disabled children and young people up to the age of 25.
It provides grants for specialist equipment and aids such as communication aids, educational toys, trikes, lifting equipment and electric wheelchairs.
Applications must be made direct by the applicant, their parents or guardian by calling 01244-335622 to discuss their application.
A reference from someone who works with your child in a professional capacity (occupational therapist, teacher, social worker, doctor, etc) will be required.
Provides grants for children with special needs, eg special equipment, 0845 300 1348
Provides essential equipment to help improve the life of children with disabilities or special needs T: 020 7794 1661
Page updated 26/03/19
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