Today’s post will appeal to families who are finding the current financial climate particularly challenging. With energy costs and inflation so high, the following may represent a welcome piece of good news. Today we highlight the many Baby Banks that are popping up all around the UK and explain how they can help struggling families, all for free.
Baby Banks are a fabulous resource for families. In recent years, they have become very popular with families experiencing harder times, especially since the outbreak of Covid and the subsequent cost-of-living crisis. With such things putting a real squeeze of family finances, Baby Banks are really coming into their own to help families, their babies and children.
What’s a Baby Bank?
A Baby bank is a similar concept to a food bank. However, instead of food and drink, it provides second-hand clothing, toys and equipment for babies, under-fives and often even for children up to the age of 16 in some cases. Baby Banks can also be compared to a charity shop, however, with baby banks, everything is free.
What Can Families Get at Baby Banks?
Exactly what families can get depends on the particular Baby Bank itself and, of course, stock levels at any given time. Some things are more in demand than others too and exactly what items are stocked also varies between different Baby Banks. Here are some examples, however, of the typical kinds of things available to families from Baby Banks, all for free:
|Clothes for babies, toddlers and children.
|Toys and other types of play equipment.
|Towels, blankets and bedding.
|Nappies and wet wipes.
|Cots, Moses baskets, cribs.
|Bottles and sterilising equipment.
|Baby foods and formula milk.
|Prams, pushchairs and strollers.
|High chairs, table-top feeding chairs, floor seats etc.
|Baby baths, including for newborns and older babies.
|Baby bouncing chairs and baby rockers.
|Even car seats in some cases.
Little Village’s video is well worth watching and really brings home how excellent and crucial Baby Banks are.
How Can Families Access Items from Baby Banks?
Baby Banks are run by all sorts of different people and organisations and therefore the rules around actually getting ones hands on the free items vary from Baby Bank to Baby Bank. Some accept requests for items directly from families themselves. Others only deal via a referral from some kind of professional. Examples include social workers, family support agencies, teachers, family centres, health visitors, medical professionals, food banks and women’s refuges. So, once you have located your nearest Baby Bank, you will need to check whether they will deal with you directly or only through such a referral. Either way, you will usually need to agree a time and date for collection of your item with the Baby Bank (you can’t usually just turn up, although there are exceptions). Not all Baby Banks are open all week and that’s another reason to check with Baby Banks or their websites first.
Can Families Donate Used Items to Baby Banks?
Absolutely! Baby Banks rely on the generous donations from families that no long require their baby clothes or equipment. Perhaps the child has grown out of them and the items are still in good condition, or perhaps they were an unwanted gift. Donating items is also a great way to declutter and to make space in the home, as well as helping others. However, before donating to a Baby Bank, always check with them to see if all your proposed items are required and, as before, ensure you know whether an appointment is needed or whether you can just turn up with your items. Certain rules may also apply around the condition and type of items (this varies depending upon which Baby Bank you are dealing with). Baby car seats and electronic items may also have special rules due to the extra safety considerations.
There’s a great resource that maps the location and information for over 200 Baby Banks throughout the UK. While this may not include absolutely every Baby Bank, it’s a great place to start looking for your nearest one. Access the interactive map by clicking the map image. You can zoom in or out and click individual map ‘pins’ to pop up contact details for each.
Baby Banks Near Streatham
Our nursery is in Streatham, so we thought we’d check what’s available near us. After all, it may help our nursery’s many families. According to the interactive map, the three Baby Banks closest to Streatham are Little Village Baby Bank in Wandsworth, Growbaby Baby Bank in Merton and Sutton Vineyard Lighthouse Baby Bank in Sutton. Their products appear to be free regardless of family income, faith or circumstance. Each provides used but good quality clothing and equipment for babies and children. According to their websites, Little Village is the only one of the three that requires a referral. Here are their details:
|Little Village, Wandsworth
|Sutton Vineyard Lighthouse
|SW17 7AP | Website | Email
|CR4 2HA | Website | Email
|SM1 1PR | Website | Email
Free Childcare Options for Streatham Families at Little Cedars Nursery
Little Cedars Nursery supports Government-funded childcare schemes for eligible families and this is another way they can save significant money. We support schemes for 15 hours per week of free childcare for eligible 2-year-olds, 15 hours of free childcare per week for 3 & 4-year-olds living in England and up to 30 hours per week for them if eligible for the top-up. We also support students requiring childcare through Student Childcare Grants & Schemes, families accessing Tax-Free Childcare, Free Childcare through Universal Credit, Childcare Vouchers and so on.
We are a high quality childcare nursery and pre-school in Streatham, also being close and convenient to those in Tooting, Balham, Norbury, Colliers Wood, West Norwood, Wandsworth, Clapham and Brixton. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss childcare funding options or a place for your child at the nursery. We’ll be happy to help. Please choose a button below to get started: