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Other help in early years settings

Early Years SEND team

  • The Early Years SEND team provide support for children under 5 who have significant developmental delays, complex medical needs or disability and/or social and communication difficulties.
  • The team work directly with families and early years settings to ensure that each child’s needs are fully understood.
  • Working closely with health professionals, family support workers and other voluntary agencies, the team will plan and coordinate a personalised package of support to meet these needs and promote progress in play, communication and learning.
  • If it is considered necessary, the team will support a request for an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • The team can also offer families advice and support to choose a school and contribute to planning and preparation for the move into school.
  • To receive help from the team an Early Help referral form must be completed. Health professionals, early years settings and families can make a referral.

If you feel that your child would benefit from support from the Early Years SEND Team, you can talk to the SENCO at your child’s early year setting, contact your health visitor or doctor or visit your nearest children’s centre. They will be able to explain more about the referral process and what happens once the referral is made.

Health and educational services:


Depending on your child’s needs you can receive help from a range of specialist services including educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, teachers of the deaf or visually impaired and nursing services

These services may visit and work with you at home and/or work alongside your childs setting to plan and give the help he/she needs.

To find out more about what each service does go to the A-Z of Professionals and/or go to the Support and Services (insert links).

Children’s centres


There is a lot of support available at children's centres and always someone to talk to. Children’s centre services are available for everyone and you can register at your local children’s centre as soon as your baby is born – or even before. If you would like someone to contact you please let your health visitor know or call your local children’s centre. 

Family support workers are available to talk to at children’s centre sessions and can provide practical support if needed.  Family support workers work closely with other professionals that may be supporting you and your child, such as midwives, health visitors and speech and language therapists.

Children’s centre services work closely with Croydon health visitors who lead the delivery of the Healthy Child Programme (HCP). HCP offers every family a programme of screening tests, immunisations, developmental reviews, and information and guidance to support parenting and healthy choices.  For more information about the Healthy Child programme contact your health visitor or your local children’s centre – or go to:

There are groups to support development and learning for children with additional needs around the borough and activities include:

  • Singing and signing
  • Communication and visual supports
  • Small steps to learning
  • Sensory and messy play
  • Support for parents and carers

For more information about Children’s Centres go to Best start.

Training and Early Learning Programmes for Parents


Croydon has a range of opportunities available planned specifically for parents to help their children to develop play skills and early learning skills such as speaking and listening.

In Croydon this includes:

Chatterbox groups: Groups for Croydon families who have concerns about their child’s talking or interaction.  They are run jointly by speech and language therapy staff, Best Start early help group workers and Children’s centres across the borough to promote, encourage and support speech, language and communication development.

For more information about Chatterbox Groups you can contact: or

Parenting Hub: A range of parenting programmes to help parents manage children's behaviour and promote healthy child development.

For more information about the programme and how you can join these groups contact

PRISM: A range of events and activities organised by local groups (National Autistic Society), Parents in Partnership (PIP), Jubilee Parenting and woodlands Children Centre) for families with children with SEND in Croydon.
Activities include:

  • Chill and Chat Sessions
  • Family Outings
  • Stay and Play Sessions
  • Information workshops

Your local Children centre will be able to share information about these services as well as other support and events for families with children with SEND.

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