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What is Early Support?

Early Support is a national programme to improve the way that services for young children with disabilities in England work with families. It provides a standard framework and a set of materials that can be used in many different circumstances, as well as a set of expectations about how services should work with families. More materials and information can be found on the Early Support section of the Gov.uk website

In Leeds


The main aims of Early Support are:


  • Better initial assessment of need which, in Leeds, can be via CAF (common assessment) or holistic assessment


There is a large amount of information about CAF and Early Support available in this section of the website. This information links in together to give a holistic overview of what is expected of a lead professional in supporting a family.


  • Better co-ordination of multi-agency support (lead practitioner and team around the child/family) AND Partnership across agencies and geographical boundaries


Hosting a directory of services and activities allows families not only to access a range of information but also create a good opportunity for professionals and others to network with each other and raise their awareness. This in turn leads to a greater amount of cohesive and joint up working


  • Better information and access for families


The information presented on the Family Information Service website is targeted to families through the wording it uses and also by offering information via email and post. Anyone with an enquiry that is unable to understand or access the electronic information can contact a information officer to discuss any questions they have and be signposted to the right service.


  • Improved professional knowledge and skill


The Family Information Service have an extensive service providers section where professional’s information is accessible for a large range of services. The language used in this section is mainly for professionals and those familiar with a service’s terms and phrases.


  • Service review and development



You can access this support by contacting your health professional, local Children’s Centre or school or by contacting the CAF team using the details on their leaflet

For local information about services in Leeds on who can provide information, advice and help please download or view the First Steps Booklet

Locally and Nationally

Early Support is relevant to all agencies that provide services for families:

  • Hospital and clinical settings
  • Child Development Centres
  • Mainstream Early Years settings
  • Sure Start Children's Centres
  • A range of specialist support agencies, including portage services
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Early Support promotes services for families and children that
  • Work in partnership with parents and carers, so that families are at the heart of discussion and decision-making about their children
  • Integrate service planning and delivery, particularly when families are in contact with many different people and agencies

For more information about services and support call:

Leeds Inclusion Support Service: 0800 085 1879 or 0113 270 7865

Leeds Family Information Service 0800 731 0640 or

0113 247 4386

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