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CAD 0-5 Support Team (Children and Adults with Disabilities)

The CAD support team provide specialist support to promote early intervention and inclusive practice for children aged 0-5 with special educational needs and/or disability. The team consists of early years specialists who support children and families within the home and early education settings in the private, voluntary, independent (PVI) sector and maintained nurseries.

The team work with children with a range of developmental difficulties, including those with complex needs either directly or indirectly through the offer of advice, support, modelling strategies and techniques, contributing to assessments, liaising with other support services, transitions and training.

Within CAD Support, there are two teams, the Early Support Service which includes support for children with social communication and interaction difficulties and the Area Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo) /Advisory teacher team.

The CAD Support Team offers;

Home-based support

Setting-based support

Sleep service


Home-based support

Early Support

The early support team provides support to families whose children have complex multi-agency needs, birth to five. Early support keyworkers are allocated to;

  • support the families with coordination of services and multi-agency meetings.
  • home visit to explore the child’s support needs, outline services and agree a support plan with parents.
  • support parents to communicate their child’s needs to professionals to address any concerns
  • liaise with a range of services and agencies in order to support children to access appropriate services.

Early Support Keyworkers in CAD also support the child’s learning based on the principle that, parent/carers are key people in the care and development of their child. The aim is to support and enable parent/carers in this role, by building on their child’s existing and emerging skills, through early play activities, the keyworkers

  • work with children, in partnership with parents to provide support & guidance to enable parents to achieve the best outcomes for their child,  
  • devise small step teaching tasks to aid a child's learning through weekly/fortnightly home visits
  • help to record achievement so that progress is appreciated and confidence built; give support and guidance.
  • support the family when considering options and visiting prospective early years settings and schools.
  • support the transition into an early years setting.
  • signpost to any groups that may meet the needs of the child

Social communication support

Keyworkers work in partnership with parent/carers to support children where concerns are raised about their social communication needs.

Keyworkers offer parent/carers;

  • information, advice and guidance on the best approach to support their child
  • parent training to help parents/carers to develop knowledge, skills and confidence to communicate effectively with their child and manage behaviour
  • support transition into an early years setting

What do the home based support teams do?

Work with parents to:

  • Carry out an in-depth, ongoing assessment of their child's needs where targets will be set jointly to measure the child's progress.
  • Help them understand their child's individual needs by jointly planning and modelling appropriate learning opportunities to promote their child's development.
  • Provide information, advice and guidance on the best approach to support their child. 

Criteria for referral

The CAD Support Team, 0-5 operates an open referral system.

A child is considered if he/she

  • lives in the London Borough of Havering
  • Is not yet attending a Local Authority (LA) nursery or reception class

 Has difficulties with their cognitive development and at least one other area of need, to include:

  • lives in the London Borough of Havering
  • Is not yet attending a Local Authority (LA) nursery or reception class
  • Has difficulties with their cognitive development and at least one other area of need, to include:
    • sensory and physical development
    • behaviour, social and emotional development
    • language, communication and interaction including self-help skills 

Setting-based support

Advice and support Providers to develop their inclusive practice and deliver improved outcomes for children and with SEND.  Providers include; Primary and Infant schools (nursery and reception classes), Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) providers and Childminders. Support is offered to;

  • develop knowledge and skills through training and modelling
  • work closely with parents to identify children’s needs,
  • plan interventions to address SEN needs and review children’s progress
  • contribute to the assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan  
  • plan transitions using a person centred approach which ensures that the child and family are at the centre of planning.

Early Years Educational Psychologist

  • carry out visit to the child’s home and their early years setting to carry out assessments,
  • discuss the child’s learning needs with parent/carer’s and agencies working with the child
  • contribute to the assessment for an Education Health Care Plan

Early Years SEN Inclusion Fund (SENIF)

Early years settings can apply for SENIF for children with a high level of need.  Settings can use funding in a variety of ways to support the child.  This could include training for the staff, equipment for the setting or additional staffing.  A fixed sum of funding is granted for a child on a pro rata basis according to the number of sessions he/she attends. This enables their access to all areas of learning within the setting.

Sleep service

A monthly sleep presentation and advice sessions for parent/carer’s. 

Where children have significant sleep issues, a full sleep assessment and an individual sleep programme is devised and support offered to implement the sleep programme.


A range of groups are offered, these are structured to support parent/carer’s to understand their child’s needs and how to support them to achieve best outcomes. The range of activities offered include; block sessions of specialist baby massage/yoga, baby signing, sensory group, messy play and stay and play sessions.

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