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Baby and toddler groups

Baby and toddler groups allow children to play and learn while interacting with other children. Children can socialise with others and gain confidence, which is a step towards regular daycare. Parents also have the opportunity to socialise with other parents and carers.


Many groups are free or ask for a voluntary contribution of around £1 per session. This may include refreshments for both you and the children you bring with you.

When choosing a playgroup, ask about

  • equipment and play materials
  • distance from home or good public transport
  • age range and number of children 
  • how much involvement is expected from you as the parent or carer
  • safe play areas
  • accessibility for children or parents and carers with disabilities

What does the group provide?

Some baby and toddler groups are aimed at particular groups, for example young parents and carers, those with children from multiple births, and children with special needs.


Baby and toddler groups do not have to be registered, as parents and carers stay with their children and take responsibility for them at all times.

Staffing and qualifications

Most groups depend on the help of volunteers to run them but some are run in registered provisions such as nurseries and children’s centres, so will have some qualified staff on hand to assist.

For more information

Visit the Family Information Service Directory for lists of childcare providers.