Universal services

Family Hubs

Services in our Family Hubs

Across the Bradford district our Family Hubs support families with children and young people of all ages and at every stage of family life. 

picture collage of four family hub locations

Family Hubs are places in the heart of the community where you can attend appointments, meet with staff for a chat, or take part in courses and activities.

Wise Owls Drop-in sessions in our Family Hubs 

Cartoon image of an owl

For all families within the Bradford district with children aged 18 months-4 years. If you have any concerns about your child's speech and language development, come and chat with one of our advisors. Sessions are taking place weekly in each area of the district. You can find these sessions on the Family Hub timetables

Early Years Alliance - Family Corner

Family corner logo

Early Years Alliance Family Corner has expert articles, activity ideas and online learning sessions on key areas of child development including:

Being Together, My Baby and Me

Being Together, My Baby and Me is a free online five-week programme from Early Years Alliance Family Corner. It's specially designed for families with babies. 

This online programme, funded by the Department for Education, combines advice on babies' learning and development with post-natal support for new parents.

There are five sessions, each one an hour long, looking at a different topic with lots of opportunities to share and learn as we discuss our thoughts and chat about our experiences together.

Topics covered include:

  • baby brain development and sensory play
  • early language and communication
  • positive mental health — especially by being outdoors (for parents/carers and babies)
  • keeping your baby safe
  • the importance of play. 

Confident Communicators to Tiny Talkers

Children communicate in many ways from birth and all children will develop at their own rate. These sessions will explore how communication and language develops from pregnancy to 5 years. During this free online three-week programme we will discuss the importance of pre-verbal communication in creating confident communicators, as well as sharing tips and ideas about supporting communication at home to help children grow into tiny talkers. These sessions will have lots of fun interactions for children and babies with activities, songs and stories throughout.

To find out more about this course, when the next course starts and how to book visit the Family Corner website here

Each programme is held virtually on Zoom - and don't worry we know that babies don't always follow a timetable, so the sessions are very relaxed and informal giving everyone a chance to see and talk to others in a similar situation to themselves.

There will also be a chance to share your experiences and get to know other families with new babies.

Tiny Happy People

The Tiny Happy People website shows you what you can do to develop your child's language skills. There are simple activities and play ideas for you to try with your baby or toddler.

Image showing the Tine Happy People website

The website has lots of information about how you can support your child with their communication and language development, as well as lots of ideas about other places you can look.

Play and Learn sessions

Play and learn session

Why are play and learn sessions so good?

There’s a lot more to child’s play than just having fun. When children play, they develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills.

The Early Years Alliance Play and Learn sessions page has details of the latest sessions taking place in the district.

The Early Years Alliance also have details of Toddler groups in the Bradford district

Bradford Libraries

Babies and children love books

Girl in library with librarian

  • A book is fun to use and easy to handle. You can take them in the car, on the bus, to the supermarket. They are great as part of the bedtime routine. 
  • You can talk in any language you want, adapt the story to suit you, put on funny voices or tell it how it is on the page. 
  • They are a great way to introduce new words, colours, shapes, and different situations. 
  • Sharing books with your child from an early age improves their language skills, and helps develop their imagination, interests and confidence. 
  • Once your child has a love of books they will have their favourites that they will want read to, again and again …… but they will also want new ones. So bring them to your local library – thousands of books to choose from …for free!!

Libraries love babies and children

  • Libraries really are friendly places to go, and there is always a children’s area where nobody minds if your child makes noise or wants to look at lots of books. 
  • Books are for using and we understand that accidents happen – we are happy to make allowances for damage as long as it does not happen too often. 
  • You are never too young to join the library. We encourage parents to get cards for their babies. We do not fine overdue children’s books taken out on a child’s ticket. So if you are a few days late returning them – no worries. And remember you can renew books over the phone or on the internet. 
  • Most libraries have story times or rhyme times
  • All our libraries are in the Breastfeeding Welcome Here scheme. 
  • Come and join Bradford Libraries with the Bookstart Bear club. The Bookstart Bear Club is a fun and engaging free membership club for all babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Collect paw print stamps, certificates and eventually your own Bookstart Bear.

20 Things to do before you're 5 (in the library)!

Bradford Libraries are launching a district-wide campaign to encourage more young families to use the library and take part in family learning adventures with their child. 

Several items on the list of things to do at the library include meeting Bookstart Bear, joining the library and attending a storytime. 

Other more obscure things to do include “riding” the slide at Shipley Library, collecting and using your free swim voucher and borrowing all three “Count Me In Bags”. Library staff advise that the list may take a whole year to complete.

The full list of things to do includes:

  • Join the library
  • Collect a baby Bookstart bear
  • Borrow a book and read it outdoors
  • Attend a rhymetime at the library
  • Ask about your Baby Bookstart pack
  • Come to a rhymetime and Sing “Wheels on the Bus” on the bus on the way home
  • Meet Bookstart Bear
  • Make a story sack of your favourite library book
  • Ride the “slide” at Shipley Library
  • Complete the Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge
  • Listen to an e-audio book online through your library card
  • Attend a storytime at the library
  • Borrow 25 books at once from the library
  • Complete the Summer Reading Challenge
  • Collect and use your free swim voucher (Bookstart Bear Club incentive)
  • Borrow all three Count Me In Bags
  • Visit the storybook mural at Ilkley Library
  • Attend a Bradford Libraries teddy bears picnic
  • Borrow a Great Start Bag
  • Read a book in a purple pod at City Library

More about Bradford Libraries

Bradford libraries have too much going on to list it all here. Visit libraries for all the latest news and activities. You can also visit our What's On calendar to find out about seasonal and holiday events happening at the library.

Bradford district parks

girl doing activity in Bradford park

There's lots to do at Bradford district parks. The parks have range of facilities and lots of activities and events.

Have a look at the fun resources page for free fun things to do in our parks with your children, including park bingo.

Look out for the Holiday Activities held in Summer - check our What's On calendar for more details (event dates and other details are usually finalised a few weeks before the school summer holidays).

50 things to do before you're five

50 things to do before you're five

We're working with 50 Things To Do to give you more ideas for activities you can experience with your pre-school children. The aim of these activities is to:

  • help your children learn to read, write and speak
  • improve their motor skills and co-ordination
  • encourage a healthier lifestyle
  • help get them ready to start school

All these activities come with a guide for parents.

If your child has special educational needs, they're not left out. All activities have extra information on how families can make them accessible.

To find out more about 50 Things To Do, get details of the 50 Things mobile app, and get tips on other free or low-cost activities to do with your young child, visit our Fun things to do for under 5's page.

Early Education and Childcare

  • Research shows that good quality childcare from an early age makes a real difference to how well a child does in the future.
  • Statistics show that accessing childcare at an early age can mean children develop a variety of skills, confidence and are ahead when starting school.
  • It will give your child the chance to make new friends, begin to get ready for school with new activities and improve their language skills.
  • It will also free up your time for training, hobbies, a break, a part-time job or more hours at work.

Free childcare banner

To find out more and see what help and support you can get, visit our Early Education and Childcare page.

Better Health and Start for Life

Better Health Start for Life logo

The NHS Better Health and Start for Life service have top tips, activities and video guidance to help your baby develop their speech skills:

Start for life - Learning to Talk - 0-6 months

Start for life - Learning to Talk - 6-12 months