Many children with special needs are able to go to local playgroups and nurseries. However, if a child’s special needs are complex or severe, parents may find that a specialist nursery would be more suitable. These settings work closely with therapists to support individual children.
As places are limited, admission to specialist Early Years provision is managed through a central process within Croydon council. This ensures that each child is considered equally and fairly, based on their educational needs.
For more information please contact the Early Years SEND team: earlyyearsSENDTeam@croydongov.uk or tel. 020 8604 7263.
Rainbow Nursery offers specialist care for children with a variety of additional needs, including those with severe and profound learning difficulties and disabilities.
Crystal Children’s Development Centre
Telephone: 020 8655 5684
Willow Tree Nursery ELP at Gilbert Scott School provides a setting for children with severe learning difficulties and autism.
Winterbourne Nursery ELP at Winterbourne Nursery and Infant School provides a setting for children with moderate delay and a combination of speech, language and social interaction difficulties. Some children may have a diagnosis of autism.
Winterbourne Nursery and Infant School,
Telephone: 020 8689 7684.
Other specialist support
Entry Criteria and Admissions
Entry Criteria downloads
- Entry criteria and admissions process for specialist nursery provision at Rainbow Nursery
- Entry criteria and admissions process for specialist nursery provision at Winterbourne Nursery ELP
- Entry criteria and admissions process for specialist nursery provision at Willow Tree Nursery ELP
- Speech and Language Enhanced Learning Provisions - Applegarth Academy and Aerodrome Primary Academy
- Admissions process for Winterbourne Nursery ELP and Willow Tree Nursery ELP
- Speech and Language Primary Enhanced Learning Provisions Admissions Process
- Primary Maintained Special Schools and Enhanced Learning Provisions (ELP)
Educational psychology service
Educational Psychologists provide a range of advice and support to early years settings and to parents and carers across all special needs and disabilities.
Contact the team:
Tel: 020 8241 5460
Pre-school service: teachers of the deaf offer visits to parents and carers at home and to staff in early years and pre-school settings in order to provide information and support in relation to all aspects of managing the needs of a child with hearing loss.
Pre-school service: specialist teachers work with children from birth who have a diagnosed visual impairment. Referrals are mainly received from ophthalmology clinics, hospitals and health professionals, though parents and teachers can also refer children to the service. If there is a concern about a child's vision a medical opinion should be sought in the first instance through the family GP or local optometrist.
For more information see Croydon Sensory Support Service.
Support for parents
- Jubilee Chill ’n Chat: Weekly groups for parents/carers of children (0-5) with special needs. Information, support and 'me-time' treats to keep you going!
Tuesdays 9. 30 - 11.30 am:
Woodlands Children's Centre,
Gilbert Scott School,
South Croydon ,
Contact Rachel Cummings or Jane Carey, parenting and family support worker, telephone: 07704 061916.
Wednesdays 1pm - 2.45pm
Kensington Avenue Children’s Centre,
Contact Jane Carey, telephone: 07704 061916
National Early Support Service: Provides a range of useful information on different conditions and issues such as sleeping problems and rare conditions. Telephone: 020 7843 6000, www.ncb.org.uk.
- Early years education support [642.1KB]
- Winterbourne and Willow Tree Nursery ELP Admissions Process and Policy [234.6KB]
- Willow Tree Nursery ELP Entry Criteria April 2015 [440.9KB]
- Speech and Language ELP entry criteria September 2015 [254.4KB]
- SALT ELP admissions process Sept 15 [260.2KB]
- EY Admissions process special schools and ELPs 2016 [267.4KB]
- Winterbourne Nursery ELP Entry Criteria April 2015 draft [449.3KB]
- A Guide to Finding a School for your Child with Autism [1.6MB]