The Early Support Pathway aims to improve the delivery of services for children with a disability or significant and complex additional needs and their families. The Early Support Pathway follows a child and family centred approach which aims to get the best possible outcomes for both children and families in Cambridgeshire.

What is the Early Support Pathway?

The Early Support Pathway is a multi-disciplinary approach to meeting the individual needs of children who have a disability or significant and complex additional needs. Specialist Services who are part of the Early Support Pathway include Paediatricians, Speech and Language Therapists, Specialist Teachers, Specialist Practitioners, Health Visitors, Physiotherapists and Child and Family Centre Managers

Early Support in Cambridgeshire uses the Think Family approach to support children and their families. This approach ensures there is:

  • one thorough family assessment using the Early Help Assessment
  • one family support plan; which is developed and reviewed by parents and professionals together at multi-agency Team Around the Family meetings. This enables services to co-ordinate support and avoids duplication
  • one lead professional; chosen by the family. This can be any professional working with the child. The Lead Professional provides a first point of contact for the family and supports the planning and coordination of services.

Who is the Early Support Pathway for?

Children from birth until the end of Reception year at Primary school, who have a disability or significant and complex additional needs, and require ongoing specialist support from across education, health and care. This includes children who have great difficulty communicating, have sensory, learning or physical difficulties and / or complex health needs. All will need additional support with many aspects of their daily lives and it is probable that there will be a lifelong impact on their development and learning. Please note that children in Reception will still be considered for Early Support however the School Aged pathway may be deemed more appropriate.

How are children referred to the Early Support Pathway?

In partnership with parents/carers early years settings, health professionals, schools and other services can initiate an Early Help Assessment on the Early Help Module of Liquid Logic. The Early Help Assessment is initially reviewed by the Early Help Hub and is then sent to the Early Support Coordinators to process.

What is the role of the Early Support team?

The Early Support team in Cambridgeshire who can be contacted by parents and professionals; they support the administration of Early Support and assist Lead Professionals by:

  • coordinating referrals to Early Support from practitioners such as health workers, early years settings or schools
  • coordinating assessment, planning and sharing of information for children on the Early Support Pathway and their family
  • signposting parents and professionals to available services, support, information and Early Support resources
  • supporting arrangements for Team Around the Family meetings
  • supporting transition planning such as from and into health, Early Years settings, entry to school or to other areas and services.

How do I find out more?

Please contact the Early Support team for more information, help and support.

General email: