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A support worker holding a calculator while a person types.

Little and Often

Diagram showing the 4 Essentials of Active Support, highlighting Little and Often.
Little and Often is the 4th Essential of Active Support

Little and Often means staff recognise that:

  • People participate in different ways

  • Some people concentrate on an activity for a long time

  • Others like to dip in and out

  • As a person gets familiar with an activity they may participate for longer

This video explains Little and Often.

Little and Often means staff:

  • Support a person to take a break if they need to

  • Support a person to return to an activity when they are ready


This video shows how support workers put Little and Often into practice.



  1. What does participation look like for the people in the video?

  2. How was Little and Often used?

Unlike the other Essentials, staff may not use Little and Often all the time. Its use depends on how people participate.


To use Little and Often well, staff need to:

  • Pay attention to what the person wants to do

  • Adjust their support during an activity

  • Follow the lead of the person

  • Be patient

Staff use Little and Often when a person they support needs to dip in and out of an activity or take a break. They can also use it to introduce a person to a new activity.


Little and Often means staff need to go at the pace of the person. Staff may need to wait until the person is ready to return to the activity and provide encouragement.


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