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Baby and toddler groups

Family Information Service log

Baby and toddler groups are usually based in church halls, community centres or children’s centres. Most run once a week for a couple of hours and are used as social venues for parents, carers and their children. Some parents and carers are happy to become involved as helpers, while others use it as an opportunity to meet new people and enjoy socialising with their friends.

They usually operate during term time and provide an opportunity for children to play with different equipment and interact with other children.

There are many advantages to attending a parent and baby or toddler group for both you and your children. Children can socialise with others and so gain in confidence, which means they are a good first step towards leaving your child in some form of daycare. Children have the opportunity to play with new toys and join in new fun activities and parents have the opportunity to socialise with other parents.

A few things to look out for

  • What sort of equipment and play materials are offered?
  • Is the group close to your home or near good public transport?
  • How many children are there and what is the age range?
  • How much involvement is expected from you as the parent or carer?
  • Is there a safe play area?
  • Is it accessible 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, parents and carers with children from multiple births and parents and carers of children with special needs.


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

Staffing and qualifications

Most baby and toddler 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.


Baby and toddler groups are not expensive. Many are free or ask for a voluntary contribution, usually a minimal amount around £1 per session. This may include refreshments for both you and the children you bring with you.

For more information

Please contact the Family Information Service by phone on 01634 335566, email to familyinfo@medway.gov.uk or visit the Family Information Service Directory.

Medway Family Information Service cannot recommend or endorse any childcare providers and do not accept responsibility for the accuracy of this information.

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