A-Z of Services

Children's Speech and Language Therapy

  • Service Contact: ch-tr.sltcroydonchildren@nhs.net
  • Address: Sanderstead Clinic 40 Rectory Park Sanderstead, Croydon, CR2 9JN
  • Reception phone number: 020 8714 2594

About us

The Croydon Children’s Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service provide speech, language, communication and eating and drinking support, for children and young people in the borough of Croydon, from birth to their 19th birthday. To access the service, children and young people must have a Croydon address and/or are registered with a Croydon GP.

The service vision is that the Speech and Language Therapy Team will minimise the impact of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and eating and drinking difficulties and maximise functional skills in these areas within each child’s individual potential.

Core Delivery Principles:

  • Keeping the client and their family at the centre of planning their care
  • Raising awareness of speech, language and communication needs
  • Identifying health inequalities and known risk
  • Reducing barriers to access
  • Working collaboratively with other services and providers
  • Working in an evidence based and outcomes focused structure
  • Treating service users with respect and dignity, being open and transparent about their care
  • Providing clear information on access to services

The service works to the Balanced System® supporting children, young people and their families, nurseries, schools and educational settings at a universal, targeted and specialist level in order to fulfil the service vision.  We will work in partnership with service users, their families/carers, other professionals and the general public to raise awareness and understanding of communication and eating and drinking difficulties, in order to reduce barriers that may exist for the people we serve.

The Balanced System ®:

The Balanced System® is a whole system, strategic approach to supporting children with communication and / or eating and drinking needs and recognises the importance of an integrated workforce, with parents, professional colleagues and speech and language therapists working together to ensure successful outcomes for children and young people. 

The core five strands of the Balanced System are:

  • Supporting parents, young people and families
  • Enhancing and adapting the environment
  • Developing the workforce
  • Identifying need
  • Providing appropriate intervention

Universal Support

Universal support is around promotion of good communication skills and development in all children and young people, regardless of their skills in this area. This support includes;

  • Training to raise awareness of speech, language and communication needs
  • Training to support early identification
  • General Advice
  • Online Resources

Targeted Support

Targeted support is aimed at children and young people who have a communication need and require some support to develop their speech, language and communication, but the impact of these needs can be met by key people in their environment (e.g. parents/carers/setting staff).  These key people can initiate and access further support from a Speech and Language Therapist if needed.  These interventions will established by the Speech and Language Therapist working with the wider workforce, i.e. through training and demonstration, but then will be maintained independently without oversight of a Speech and Language Therapist.  Intervention at this level may include;

  • Chatterbox groups
  • Preschool screening
  • Language groups run by setting staff (e.g. Oracy/Talk Boost)
  • Advice Clinics for parents / other professionals
  • Advice Sheets
  • Training on specific interventions

Specialist Support

Specialist support is for children and young people whose speech, language, communication or eating and drinking needs are impacting on them in a way that only a Speech and Language Therapist supporting them can reduce this impact. Input might be delivered by a Speech and Language Therapist, a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant or setting staff, but will require direct oversight of a Speech and Language Therapist, either through direct intervention or regular review.

Related organisations and services


Accessing the Podiatry service

Chatterbox groups

If your child is under 4, you can attend Chatterbox groups which are drop in sessions that run at various locations across the borough on a weekly basis.

Parents / Carers should attend these sessions with their child in order to access relevant support, advice and activities to support their child’s communication skills at a targeted level. You will also have the opportunity to speak to a member of the SLT team who can work with you to support your child’s development and make a decision on if specialist assessment is required.

See more information on the Chatterbox leaflet here:  Chatterbox leaflet Spring term 2024

Eating and Drinking Difficulties

The Eating and Drinking (EDD) service sees children and babies with eating and drinking difficulties which are anatomical, physiological or neurological in nature. The main aim of the service is to ensure that children are eating or drinking as safely as possible.

If you or any professional working with your child is concerned about your child’s eating or drinking skills, please check the referral criteria on the Eating and Drinking difficulties referral form here. You or a professional can complete this referral form and return it to us on the details above.

More information

If your child attends a Croydon maintained school, please contact the Children’s SLT team on 020 8714 2594 or email  ch-tr.SLTcroydonchildren@nhs.net.

If your child does not attend a Croydon maintained school, please contact us on the details above and let us know. We can then discuss with you the options available.