Been asked to set up a parent and toddler group but where to start!

So there is a serious lack of activities in my village and I've been asked if I'd run a parent and toddler/baby group. I would love to but I have no idea where to start! I will get insurance ofcourse and have a DBS already, I want to offer tea and cake to parents and healthy snacks for the children and different play areas I also like the idea of offering craft morning once a month and trips out etc is there a organisation that might be able to help me? 

Now I wasn't going to charge much maybe £3 a family and I don't want to really run it as a business but if I could make some pocket money that would be handy as the money for the craft supplies and snacks would come out of my pocket so would I need to register as a business? My local church hall want to charge me £10 a hour and this seems a awful lot 😔 as I have no idea how many will turn up! Do you have any suggestions please? 


  • Honeysucklelou2
    Honeysucklelou2 Posts: 4,655 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 19 February 2022 at 9:57AM
    What an exciting opportunity! It might be worth finding out if there ever has been one in the past as there might be a stash of toys or resources in someone’s  attic or garage. 

    In the village I work in, a lady set up such a group after a lapse and she was able to get a grant from Mr T’s to help with set up costs.

    If you can, I recommend Tuff trays. They can hold anything from Duplo to shaving foam, are easy to store and clean.

    Might be worth asking if the church hall has a cupboard / storage area that you can utilise to save having to lug resources back and forth.
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  • JGB1955
    JGB1955 Posts: 3,470 Forumite
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  • "I've been asked if I'd run a parent and toddler/baby group" - is the person volunteering your time and effort planning to volunteer their own?
  • Also - "I want to offer tea and cake to parents and healthy snacks for the children and different play areas" - I wouldn't want this every week. A hot drink and water yes, but snacks like cake every time, no - apart from anything most of the kids would see their parents eating cake and presumably gravitate towards it too. We specifically chose regular attendance at a play group BECAUSE that one doesn't offer a buffet table of snacks and crap each week - there's a drink and a plate of fruit to take safe small chunks from (suitable for weaned babies re: choking hazards)but not a mountain of crap. Maybe we're different, but i suspect you need to be doing some market research in what your local parents want/need rather than just assuming.
  • qwert10
    qwert10 Posts: 174 Forumite
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    Used to run one approach local church parish council nursery school local rural council to see bid any grants or advice/ support. Organise a one off factfinding mum and toddler event. To guage opinion. Eventually once set up arrange a rota of helpers.
    Also hot drinks might be out due to elf and safety! Sadly. Wouldn't advise snax as every mum has a different opinion on them! Speaking from experience.
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