Find it! is a single directory where you can search to find the contact details for Services (including a Special Find it! section), Activity and Parent and Toddler Groups and Children's Centres.
What information can I expect to find in the Parent & Toddler Group Section?
A Parent and Toddler Group is an informal setting where parents, carers, childminders and their children can go to have fun and meet new people. Parents and carers remain with, and are responsible for, their children throughout the session. Most groups meet once per 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.
What happens at a Parent and Toddler Group?
Although this will vary from group to group, most will provide opportunities for:
- babies to play and explore in a safe area;
- free play with a good range of toys including larger equipment;
- a craft activity that may involve cutting, sticking or painting;
- singing time often at the end of a session to allow for clearing away of toys;
- a refreshment break for adults and children.
How much do they cost?
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.
Who organises Parent and Toddler Groups?
Some groups are run by a committee of parents elected at an AGM who share the responsibility for its organisation.
Some are organised and run by church members leaving parents and carers free to enjoy time with their children.
Some are organised by Children's Centres, Family Centres or the local Pre-school or Nursery with staff on hand to offer support and advice if needed.
Some groups have a rota system with parents taking it in turns to set up, clear away and make refreshments.
Most groups will have a main organiser who will welcome you and introduce you to the group.
What is an activity group?
An activity group introduces young children to different experiences such as baby massage, music, baby signing and rhyme time, pre-school gymnastics and dancing, water activities, even Spanish and French for toddlers and football for 2 year olds!
Parents and carers go along with their children often joining in the fun and making lasting friendships.
How do I find a Parent and Toddler or Activity group?
- Click here to view the Find it! Directory and select the Parent and Toddler Groups or Activities category
- Your local Children's Centre will have information on the groups they are running and other local services.
What if there isn’t a Parent and Toddler Group in my area?
Why not get together with other parents and carers and start a Parent and Toddler group.
Click here for more information about setting up a group.
Information about setting up a Parent and Toddler Group
The Family Information Service at ask provides a wide range of free support and information to parent and toddler group organisers including:
Support with the management of your Group
- Setting up a committee
- Preparing a constitution
- Producing a welcome letter or information leaflet
- Roles and responsibilities
- Financial procedures
- Strategies and development plans for sustainability
- Health and safety and risk assessment
Support with the structure of your session
- Making the most of your room layout, toys and equipment
- Introducing a singing or craft activity
- Developing quality play experiences
- Maintaining variety and interest throughout the session
- Toy loans
Support with fund raising
- Details of grant making organisations
- Fund raising ideas
- Help to fill out your application
Support to parents
- Introduction to the services available through ask
- Identifying information needs
- Parenting support information
Support and information is free and available on request. If you need information please contact the Family Information Service on 08457 585072.
Information Giving Visits
We are able to provide a wide range of family information for parents and carers so if you feel your parents would value some support please let us know. We can provide information on childcare, family finances, starting nursery or school, activities and support services.
All the visits we provide are free.
Developing and Improving the Service
If there is other support and information you would like on running a Parent and Toddler Group please let us know. We are always seeking to improve the service and welcome your input to help us develop and evaluate the services offered.
A Parent and Toddler Group Support Pack is available to all new organisers providing a series of information leaflets on all aspects of running a Parent and Toddler Group. If you are a new organiser and would like a copy of the pack please let us know.
We are interested in any feedback you would like to give us on the service we provide, so if we have been to your group recently please let us know if we met your expectations and needs. We will also send out regular evaluation requests so please let us have your comments should one arrive.
Policies, Procedures and Inclusion
If you would like any support to update your policies, procedures and promote inclusion please let us know.
Please note that the 0-3s Outreach Service is required to provide reports on the work being undertaken to support Parent and Toddler Groups. A visit to your group may therefore be included in statistical data.
The Service is interested in supporting Parent and Toddler Group organisers through the provision of training. If you or your group has any training needs please let us know.
Setting up new Parent and Toddler Groups
The Service is available to support parents and communities to set up new Parent and Toddler Groups to meet local needs. We have a free booklet ‘Starting a Parent and Toddler Group’ which is a step by step guide to setting up a group. If you would like more information contact the Family Information Service on 08457 585072.
Parent and Toddler Group Database
If there have been any changes at your group, particularly the organiser, opening day or times would you please let us know. This will allow us to update your group’s information on our database, the public lists we provide to parents and carers looking for a group, and the website.
To search the Directory please click on one of the categories below or use the Search facility to the left of this page and either type in a Keyword or click on Advanced Search to obtain a more detailed search. Please note that when you are making an advanced search that you can only select one 'area covered' at a time. If you are unable to find what you are looking for please ring our helpline on 08457 585072 and an Information Worker will be happy to help you.
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