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Portage Service

Portage is an educational support service for children with significant additional needs and disabilities and their families.  Designed around the individual needs of a child, Portage helps parents and carers to become more skilled in supporting their child’s development, either individually or as part of a group.

Portage supports your child’s cognitive, physical, communication, social and self-help skills.

Families and their children can also attend our Portage Support Groups. Here you can continue to develop targets and skills for your child alongside other children with significant needs and their families. They can help your child learn to socialise in a small group and help them prepare for moving on to nursery.

Who to contact

Merton's children's centres



The programme is delivered on a one-to-one basis with you and your child, both at home and in a sensory room at one of our children’s centres.

Time / Date Details

Session Information
Visits and sensory sessions last between one hour and one hour 15 minutes and can take place between 9.00am and 4.45pm. Depending on your child’s needs, they can be either fortnightly or monthly.
Portage Support Groups are invitation only and take place at Newminster and Acacia Children's Centres

Other Details


Referral required
Referral Details

Portage is for children from birth to three years old who do not yet go to nursery and who have Special Educational Needs or disabilities affecting two or more areas of development. Children must be under the age of three when referred to the service and live in the London Borough of Merton.

If you think that the Portage Service programmes may be helpful for you, please speak to your health visitor, midwife, a member of children’s centre staff or another professional who is working with you and your child.

As a parent or carer, you can also refer your child to Portage directly using the Merton Referral for Early Years Services form which you can download from You will need to attach supporting reports from other professionals involved with your child to your referral.

Last updated: 12/04/2022
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