The Trust was set up in 2007 by Afasic, BT, Council for Disabled Children and I CAN.

Early Support

Early_SupportEarly Support is a way of working that aims to improve the delivery of services for disabled children, young people and their families. It enables services to co-ordinate their activity better and provide families with a single point of contact and continuity through key working. It focuses on ensuring that service delivery is child, young person and family centred and that services and practitioners work in partnership with children, young people and their families.

Early Support is well-established for children aged 0-5 years in many local areas, working across health, education, social care and the voluntary, community and private sector. The approach, materials and training are now being extended for use from birth to adulthood.

The National Children's Bureau is the lead body of a multi-organisational consortium which has won the tender for the Early Support work from the Department for Education. The Communication Trust sits on the Early Support consortium and has been commissioned in particular to work on the materials, training and developmental journals that accompany the Early Support approach. 

To find out more about Early Support please click here to go to their website.

Free resources for parents

Early Support commissioned us in 2012 to organise the update of some of their online information resources. Please click here to find out more information and to download the resources.

Early Support have funded reprints of the following resources, which are available to order for free:

  • 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 a communication difficulty. Please click here to download Misunderstood or you can order a hard copy here.
  • SLI Handbook: The Specific Language Handbook (SLI) Handbook is a book written by I CAN and Afasic that explains what a specific language impairment is. It gives advice and support and shows where to go for further information. To order a free copy please email with your postal details.



Early Support has commissioned a series of films to show their principles in action across the country. The first of these films is now available, which is about Short Breaks and their benefits when they are offered in a way that is underpinned by Early Support principles.

Please click here to view.


Developmental Journals

The new Early Years Developmental Journal is designed for families, practitioners and others to use as a way of recording, celebrating and supporting children's progress. It is also for people who would like to find out more about children's development in the early years.

There are Developmental Journal's for specific childhood conditions or disabilities:

  • Developmental Journal for Children and Young People with Multiple Needs

  • Developmental Journal for deaf babies and children

  • Developmental Journal for babies and children with Down syndrome

  • Developmental Journal for babies and children with visual impairments

Find out more here.