For Families

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The Existing Early Support resources have been revised, updated and adapted for use with older children and disabled young people.

Early Support's resources help to bring service providers together with parent carers, children and young people on the basis of shared information. They ensure parent carers, children and young people remain at the centre of a holistic and integrated support process.

The information resources we provide are based on what families and young people have said would be most useful for them. They offer a source of reliable and readable information. They cover a range of different conditions, disabilities and difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder, speech, language and communication, visual impairment, rare conditions and no diagnosis. They also provide general information on childcare, people you may meet and other useful areas of knowledge. Information resources on deafness, cerebral palsy, behaviour, learning difficulties and Down syndrome will be available shortly.

View our new Information Resources page.


Our Family

Our Family is a set of information templates, developed and owned by the family. It brings together all relevant information about a child's and family's strengths and support needs, as well as their priorities and their aspirations for the future. It includes a single plan format to use to support a single assessment and planning process. This will be available shortly. In the meantime, you can download the original Early Support Family File.


Multiagency Planning and Improvemen Tool (MAPIT)

The Multiagency Planning and Improvement Tool is designed to inform and underpin service improvement for disabled children, young people and their families. It enables multiagency groups, parent carers and young people to use the Early Support principles to review services, identify service development priorities, plan for improvement and track progress over time.

Free Download of the MAPIT Tool



Misunderstood explains what speech, language and communication needs are and includes advice and guidance on how to support communication development. It includes information for parents to give them guidance on what to do if they suspect their child may have communication difficulty.

This booklet is aimed at parents and those who work with children and young people to give them an introduction to the subject.

This resource is available to download and order.


Specific Language Impairment (SLI) Handbook

The SLI Handbook is a book written by I CAN and Afasic that explains what a specific language impairment (SLI) is. It gives advice and support and shows where to go for further imformation.

To order a free copy as made possible by Early Support, email with your postal details.


COMING VERY SOON! Early Support App

The Early Support app is aimed at children, young people and their families. Its purpose is to provide them with the full range of information that Early Support produces and signposts. It also enables them to record important things about themselves that they could then share with others.


Free Training Available

Early Support have developed Key Working training which is being delivered nationally, and it is free. 


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Local Events

There may be local events which would be ideal for Early Support to be involved with or if you would like more information about events we are organising in your local area, please contact our  regional facilitators


Useful Information

The National Parent Partnership Network (NPPN) supports and promotes the work of Parent Partnership Services (PPS) across England and is based at Council for Disabled Children (CDC).

Growing Our Strengths

Growing Our Strengths is a call to action for the voluntary and community sector in England to celebrate and strengthen our skills and experience in improving outcomes for children and families through early intervention. Our aim is to develop those skills and show how our work makes a positive difference. The partnership brings together organisations from across the country, pooling knowledge and information to help develop our skills.

It's funded by the DfE to help ensure there is a skilled and vibrant market place of organisations able to work with families and children at the earliest possible stage to prevent family problems from escalating. By combining our resources we can really make an impact and improve how we demonstrate our results to everyone, from commissioners to the general public. Share your knowledge and experience with others and help shape the future of the sector by taking part in Growing Our Strengths.

The difference Early Support makes to families

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My daughter is a lovely little girl, happy, cheerful, loves to draw and she's very cheeky .... Having help has brought her out a lot more. I was pregnant when I was told that she had spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and that she might never walk. I was worried, scared even, when she was born. I wouldn't be where I am now if it hadn't been for having my Early Support key worker.

  Apple Green_chat.jpgEarly Support was the only relevant, practical help we received before our son was diagnosed with Autism. It has empowered us as a family and provided us with good information and advice. The burden of having to coordinate everything ourselves was lifted while our full involvement was maintained. Information about our child was shared with all the professionals involved and this meant we did not have to repeat our story over and over again.

What families think about key working

APurple_chat.jpgs a working mum raising a child with special needs, my time is precious. I have to fit in four working days, endless appointments, daily physiotherapy as well as find time to enjoy my child and family. Before our key worker came into our lives I was struggling to achieve this.


My first hurdle ... was re-housing. I was assigned my key worker and she went to work. Within the same week, I was assessed ... and moved into temporary accommodation one week later. She became the single point of contact and ... was able to eradicate all the problems. All of these things helped me to create a stable home environment for my son and took away the stress I would have otherwise suffered.


  As the parent of a disabled child, it took a while to understand the significance of what having a child with a disability would mean to our lives. There was the numbness, the steady-growing awareness that something just wasn't quite right ... Our key worker was a lifeline in a sea of uncoordinated provision.

How the Family File helps

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Before Early Support my life would, at best, be described as chaotic. The youngest of my three children has an autistic spectrum condition .... [The pre-school teacher] suggested I fill out the 'Introducing ourselves' booklet, which allowed me to give updated background information to any new professionals we came into contact with. This hugely alleviated the frustration of spending the first 15 minutes of appointments repeating information I'd given so many times before.

Early Support