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Early Years Support Team

Who are we?

We are a specialist team of Advisory Teachers and Specialist Nursery Nurses, supported by two part time senior caseworkers who are always happy to help and can be contacted via email at or telephone 01234 718123. We are based at the Child Development Centre.

We provide direct support to children under 5 years with SEND, their families, childminders and early years settings (including the private, voluntary and independent sector).  We contribute to achieving the best outcomes for children who have special educational needs and disabilities, as well as for their families.

What do we do?

When a child has been accepted for referral, an Advisory Teacher will complete an Initial Assessment. Please note, referrals need to be received by the EYST before the 31st March prior to the child starting a Reception class in school.

The Initial Assessment will identify a child's individual strengths and needs and provide recommendations of strategies to support the child at home and in their setting as appropriate. The Initial Assessment is completed through liaison with home and in an early years setting and sometimes the child may be invited to the CDC to attend an Assessment Session run by the team.


Once the Initial Assessment is completed, a team decision is made regarding the nature of support which will be offered. This is discussed with the child’s family and early years setting. Support differs depending on a child's level of special educational needs but can include regular support at home through home teaching and advice to parents and carers, support in the early years setting to raise the child's achievement and/ or support through specialist groups provided by the team. We may provide ongoing advice and support to the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, depending on the child’s individual needs.


We provide bespoke training for providers and parents/carers on behalf of Bedford Borough Council on matters relating to SEND.


Not sure what to do next? Book onto an EYST Drop In and the team will listen and respond with appropriate advice. We signpost and advise families regarding early years placements, local initiatives, links to other teams and voluntary agencies. Parents and carers who have specific concerns regarding their child's development are able to contact the team for general advice regarding their child’s needs to discuss next steps as appropriate.


Who to contact

Contact Name
Jenny Higham
Contact Position

Where to go

Child Development Centre
Hill Rise
MK42 7EB
Get directions

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Term time only
Time of day

Other Details


Referral required
Referral Details

Children are referred to the Early Years Support Team by a health or educational professional with parental/ carer consent. This needs to be received by 31st March the year the child is starting school. Once a referral has been accepted by the team the parents/ carers are made aware of this and the child is placed on a waiting list prior to being seen.

The form is available on the right hand  side of the page under downloads. 

Age Bands
Parents and carers
0-4 years old
Needs Level
SEN Provision Type