To find out more about parent & toddler groups please see below.
Last reviewed September 2020.
Parent and toddler groups are informal sessions where parents, carers, childminders and their children can go to have fun and meet new people. Parents and carers stay with and are responsible for their children, throughout the session. Most groups meet once a week for between one and two hours and welcome children from birth to 3 or up to school age.
Every group is different and it may take a few visits before you get to know the group and feel part of it. Sometimes the best way to get to know people is to get involved and offer to help. Local Children’s Centres also provide parent and toddler groups for families who have children 0 to 3 years.
Although this will vary, most toddler groups will provide opportunities for:
• Babies to play and explore in a safe area with appropriate toys and equipment
• Free play with a good range of toys including larger equipment that is suitable for all ages
• Craft activities that may involve cutting, sticking or painting and on occasions cooking
• Singing time often at the end of a session to allow for clearing away of toys
• Refreshment break for adults and children which may include tea and coffee for the adults and water/soft drinks, healthy snack or biscuit for the children
Charges will vary depending on the group you choose to attend. Most groups charge around £1.50 per session to cover the cost of refreshments and craft materials; there is sometimes an additional charge for more children or if they arrange a special activity like a Christmas Party or day trip.
Many groups are run by a committee of parents who share the responsibility for its organisation and running.
Some are organised and run by churches and other community faith groups, leaving parents and carers free to enjoy time with their children. You do not have to be part of that faith group to join in the toddler session.
Groups may have a rota system with parents taking it in turns to set up, clear away and make refreshments.
There are also groups organised by Children's Centres or the local Pre-school or Nursery with staff on hand to offer support and advice if needed.
Most groups will have a main organiser who will welcome you and introduce you to the group.
To find the nearest parent and toddler groups you can search on the FIS section of The Reading Services Guide under Things to Do. Parent & toddler group section on Reading Services Guide
If you do not have access to the internet or cannot find the information you are looking for, contact the Family Information Service on 0118 9373777 option 2.