Here’s a range of activities that you can find in your local Sure Start Children’s Centres. Visit our events page to find out dates and times.
All about the Breastfeeding Group
The Breastfeeding Group was set up by a group of mums to provide a place for breastfeeding mums to share experiences and support each other. The mums who run it have all breastfed themselves and have done an NCT Breastfeeding Peer Support course.
Having a baby is a life changing experience and as mums’ ourselves we’ve all found how important it is to meet others going through the same thing. The group is an informal drop in and we try to create a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. Often we just gossip, but we’re always there to listen to anyone who needs to talk.
Anyone interested in breastfeeding is welcome to drop in. Come and meet everyone while you’re still pregnant, or pop in with your new baby (and Dad too!) Older children are also welcome at the group. We look forward to seeing you Wednesdays 1pm – 3pm at Stanley Children’s Centres.
The Peer Support mobile: 07506183077 is available if you need to talk to anyone outside the group. Just text your name and we’ll call you back when we can.
* National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212 *
‘The group has been a source of invaluable support for me, not just when I’m finding being a parent difficult but to share the good times too’ - Jen
‘The group has been a great place for me and my baby to make friends’- Joanne
Bouncin’ Babes (0-9 months)
Bouncin Babes is a drop in group for parents of babies under 9 months. Come along to meet other parents and babies in an informal setting for a chat, advice or just to make new friends. Just call in at any time during the session, no appointment is required.
Citizen’s Advice Bureau (C.A.B.) Drop In
The Citizen’s Advice service helps people with legal, money and other matters by providing free, independent and confidential advice. Drop In to receive information and guidance on a numbers of things including: Benefits and Debt. There are C.A.B. sessions available in a Children’s Centre near you, just telephone your nearest to find out dates throughout the year.
“I used the CAB Drop In and was given really good advice.”
The Childminding Network offers support to child-minders through a structured, quality assured scheme through a dedicated co-ordinator. Childminders have access to professional, individual, confidential advice, ongoing support and training.
Parents are reassured by the fact that childminders are assessed and regularly monitored, ensuring high standard of care are offered and maintained. Participating in a network gives a childminder the opportunity to meet regularly with other childminders to discuss childminding activities and childcare related issues. For further information then call Lesley Maltby on 01207 590 930.
Early Days Parenting Programme (0-6 months)
Early Days is a 12 week course for mums/dads/parents/carers with babies aged 0 - 6 months that includes 4 weeks of baby massage and promotes communication, play and emotional development. The session is for anyone with a baby under 6 months old. Call your local Children’s Centre to see when and where the next course is being held and to book your place.
Messy Play (0-5 years)
Messy play sessions promote children’s all-round development through creative activities such as painting, play dough and sticking, where your child has the chance to play and interact with other children. These sessions are available to toddlers up to the age of 5 and their parents/carers. Just come along.
“Messy Play session was great fun, especially gloop! Liked the variety, lots of activities in one session, good when attention span is short!”
SAIF (Disabilities & Additional Needs) Group (0-5 years)
The S.A. I. F Group (Support, Action, Information, Fun) is for parents/carers of a child with a disability or additional needs. Anyone who has a child with a disability or additional need is most welcome. Come along and join the group for a friendly, informative chat with other mams/dads/carers and professionals. Alternatively, you can call Susan Lidster on 01207 590 930 if you’d like any further information.
Supportive, welcoming, friendly, happy ... that is what you get from this group. Children with all
different disabilities, parents with similar hopes and concerns. It's a place to talk, laugh, cry and listen. If you feel like doing any of these, come and realise you are not alone."
Story Sessions / Story-time (0-5 years)
Our story sessions are fun, creative sessions for you and your child. At the sessions we read a story, sing songs and rhymes, have a healthy snack and make a fun and sometimes messy, craft. For all children under 5 years old and their parents/carers, just drop into the session.
Sporty Tots (18 months – 5 years)
Sporty Tots is a sporting programme specifically designed for children between the ages of 18 months – 5 years, where the children play games involving apparatus and above all – FUN! Sporty Tots programmes are dedicated to improving the children’s self esteem and confidence and are stimulating and challenging. These sessions are run at different venues throughout the year … when you see one advertised just ring up and book a place!
Small Talk Speech & Language Toddler Group (18 months-3 years)
The Small Talk Toddler Group is a fun and friendly group aimed at children under three to encourage communication development. The emphasis of the group is on having fun and playing and, in this relaxed environment, allowing opportunities to arise which allow the children to learn new communication, sharing and turn-taking skills. The session is all about learning and talking while having fun. It’s for anyone who has concerns about their child’s language development. The group is small and friendly and everyone is made to feel welcome. The session is ideally aimed at children over 18 months however everyone is welcome. The number of children attending each session is kept to a maximum of eight so if you’d like a place then call Gillian McCreesh on 01207 232 048.
“Staff are friendly and helpful, they’ve done a great job, thank you!”
Tinytalk (Baby Sign) Class (0-2 years)
The course is very relaxed and you will learn some baby signs, good communication techniques to use with your baby, meet other mams and dads or carers with children the same age as yours and generally have a fun time. The ideal age for babies to learn baby sign is between 6 and 12 months but we can be flexible. So if you ever wondered what your baby could say if only you could understand and want to encourage your baby to communicate then why not put your name down for our next course of baby sign? By having this wonderful resource at your fingertips you and your baby are able to have meaningful conversations you would have missed out on if you had waited until she was able to talk, ring 01207 232 048 to book a place.
““A great opportunity to spend time concentrating on communicating with my baby”
Toddler Groups (0-5 years)
Toddler Group’s are for you and your little ones to come and have fun and meet people. You can attend a toddler group with a new born baby, a baby who has just learnt to sit, a toddler and a pre-schooler, or a combination of the above. It’s for all children under 5 years old and their parents / carers.
A Toddler Group offers the children group activities when the children all sit together (great social skills), crafts, an opportunity for messy play, an opportunity to dress up, stories and singing as a group or even music and movement sessions, puzzles, simple games, books to share, an area for the babies with activity frames, cushions and baby toys and, of course, friendship and support to carers and parents.
Some Toddler Groups are run independently and may incur a very small cost per session and may also run term-time only.
“Really enjoyed the toddler group, I think it’s really great how you have interesting things for the children to do each week”
Toy & Book Library (0-5 years)
The toy and book library is a loan service of toys and books for parents and carers to share with their children. Books are great for sharing and they help develop children’s imagination (even young babies like to chew them!) Also, lots of toys for your child to choose from that can be changed regularly so you don’t get bored! Sharing and enjoying books and toys with children helps them to learn about themselves, about the world and to learn many new words and concepts. Toys can also be matched to developmental stages.
We ask you try to return books and toys in a satisfactory condition, but we do understand that sometimes books get chewed or torn, and toys get broken or bits get lost so don’t worry. Every Sure Start Children’s Centre offers toys, books, videos and cassettes for any under 5 year old to borrow. If you’d like to join our library then membership is completely free, please pop into your nearest centre.
Weaning Course (4-5 months)
The weaning course is held over four weeks and gives advice on how to introduce solid food to baby’s diet. These sessions run regularly so contact your health professional or your local Children’s Centre if you’d like your details on the waiting list. You will then be invited when your child is 4-5 months old, if you’d like any further information then please contact Louise Frost 01207 593 853.
Weigh & Stay (0-5 years)
Weigh & Stay is an open session for parents/carers to come with their babies, toddlers and pre-school children to: have children weighed (if required), talk with the Health Visitor or Nursery Nurse/Family Support Worker, join in and play with our playgroup volunteers, relax, meet up and chat with other parents. All mams, dads and carers with children 0 - 5 years old are
welcome to pop along. If you find going to sessions daunting, please be assured that this is a very relaxed environment and we will do everything possible to make you feel at ease and able to access the help, advice and support available.
“Weigh and stay group is an asset! I enjoy the group and the opportunity to ask a Health Visitor questions and catch up with other mums.”
Well Baby Drop In & Clinics (0-5 years)
The Well Baby Drop In sessions are there to support you and your family as your baby develops and grows. The sessions are very friendly and are run by health visitors who are fully equipped to answer all of your questions. You can have baby weighed and checked and information and advice are available on health issues, immunisation, problems with feeding or sleeping or you can just have a chat. All mams, dads and carers with children 0 - 5 years old are welcome to pop along, you don’t need an appointment, you can just “drop in”, which means you can come along at any point during the session and leave when you want to.