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Tooting Children’s Centres

Tooting Children’s Centres


Children’s Centres provide welcoming environments where you and your children can learn, have fun and tap into a wealth of helpful resources for free!

We are lucky in SW17 to have three Children’s Centres that service their neighbourhoods – Franciscan, Smallwood and Hillbrook.

Taking part in activities with your children doesn’t have to cost anything. Of course there are lots of wonderful sessions and activities available locally such as baby sensory, signing for toddlers and swimming – however, these usually come with a price tag which can add up to quite a chunk over the weeks and months. One of the many great things about our local Children’s Centres is that there is no cost.

The centres are managed by trained professionals, there are lots of natural resources for your little ones to explore, and activities are often organised for different age groups at the drop-in sessions. The Hillbrook story and singing sessions can put a spring in your step on a Monday morning (I speak from experience). They even provide a hand-out for nursery rhyme lyrics if, like me, you’re not so clued up on the latest verse of Old MacDonald.

Aside from the drop-in ‘play and learn’ sessions, the centres often host additional courses, providing advice on speech and language, child behaviour and development, and family support. There are also baby massage, first aid and weaning courses that you can sign up for.

Along with all of the above, attending sessions at one of the centres enables you to meet other new parents and form friendships in your community. When I think back to the first drop in class I attended, I felt such a surge of relief – firstly that I’d actually made it out of the house with a two month old (an achievement in its own right); secondly that I was surrounded by a group of new parents that all understood what I was going through. They all ‘got it’. There was no need to apologise for the baby’s grizzles, having to feed every 30 minutes, or mopping up the odd milk spill. It was such a relaxed and supportive environment where I felt great doing something that will not only help my child’s development, but also mine as a mother.

To find your nearest Children’s Centre, click here.

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