Short breaks for disabled children grants

This funding programme is closed to new applications.

View open funding programmes for projects that benefit children and young people.

We are awarding funding to organisations that can improve and enhance the options for short break activities for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Kent.

Short breaks allow children and young people (aged 0 to 18) to spend time away from their parents or carers. It's also a fantastic way to let them explore new activities and challenges, meet new friends, and learn new skills.

They also provide valuable time for parents and carers for a well-deserved break.

Short breaks can include day, evening, weekend, and school holiday activities. Overnight stays are not eligible for this funding.

SEND children and young people should experience engaging, challenging, and positive developmental experiences through these grants.

You should have training in, and be able to respond to, a range of needs.

Our definition of disability is taken from section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and includes:

  • learning disabilities or physical impairment
  • sensory impairments
  • neurodevelopmental diversity (with or without a learning disability)
  • life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

The fund supports our goal to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND, as outlined in our strategy, Framing Kent's Future.

To apply you must be able to provide support for those who:

  • have a disability or additional needs that mean they need support to participate in leisure activities
  • are aged between 5 and 18 years old
  • live in the Kent County Council area.

You can be a:

  • registered charity
  • voluntary or community organisation
  • special school
  • community interest company
  • social enterprise.

You must also have in place:

  • public liability insurance (£10 million)
  • employer liability insurance (£5 million)
  • professional indemnity insurance (£1 million)
  • motor vehicle insurance (if a vehicle is available to the project)
  • safeguarding children policy and procedure
  • complaints procedure
  • health and safety policy or statement that includes a risk assessment
  • equal opportunities policy or statement
  • child sexual exploitation policy
  • anti-radicalisation policy
  • recruitment and selection policy or procedure
  • enhanced DBS checks for staff and volunteers
  • supervision and appraisal process
  • induction programme for new staff and volunteers
  • training programme for staff and volunteers which includes
    • safeguarding
    • child sexual exploitation
    • anti-radicalisation.

A total of £1,060,000 is available per year, with a limit of £1,000 to £25,000 per district.

You can apply for a grant in multiple districts or countywide.  Countywide means your short break activities are available throughout Kent.

Grants are available for between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2026.

We will distribute funding across the county to ensure that as many SEND children and young people will benefit as possible, including those with complex needs.

Read our full prospectus (PDF, 230.1 KB)

Applications closed at 12pm (midday) on 12 January 2024.

Read our application guidance (PDF, 581.9 KB)

A small panel from the council will review applications, including representation from:

Our panel may ask you to provide extra information as part of our assessment.

This helps us make recommendations to the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education.

The corporate director will then make a final decision. We will either:

  • offer you a grant;
  • offer you a grant with some specific conditions;
  • reject your application and explain why.

If successful

When the project is complete, you will need to give us monthly monitoring information. This includes:

  • how many activities or events were delivered with the funding
  • how many children and young people took part
  • the names, dates of birth, and locations of those who took part
  • numbers of children on the waiting list and length of wait
  • any feedback received about the activities or events
  • at least one anonymised qualitative case study demonstrating the project’s impact regarding outcomes.