Priory Family Centre

What we do

Priory Family Centre aims to provide flexible, innovative and accessible child and family support services for children, young people and their carers within the community of Barnsley. This includes:

  • supervising contact for looked after children
  • family support
  • nursery provision
  • community development
  • parenting education programmes
  • drop-in
  • baby group
  • supporting volunteers.

As part of our work, we offer a number of services:


We are an Ofsted registered nursery for children aged 2 - 5 years. We offer 6 sessions per week, morning or afternoon, Monday to Wednesdays. The nursery provision offers high quality care, learning and education in a safe, stimulating, caring and nurturing environment.

As a small service with a highly experienced and skilled team we ensure that by working closely with parents and carers we provide activities, experiences and opportunities that are led by children's individual needs and interests. We celebrate and value each child and their family's individual identity.

The nursery environment is set out into themed areas with a range of materials, toys and activities that children choose freely for themselves. Practitioners support and encourage children to be creative, independent and active learners, building children's self esteem and confidence.

Families or professionals can request a place and places are offered based upon children's or families specific needs or requirements.

Supervised contact

From October 2006, we began supervising contact sessions between children looked after by the local authority and their parents and families. This ensures families can spend quality time together using our facilities and resources.

At the end of each session, social services are provided with a factual report. We are also to supervise contacts for other local authorities with negotiation.


Our drop in sessions are held every Friday morning from 9 - 11am and are aimed at the under 8s. We have lots of fantastic things for parents/carers and your child to do together during the session.

Chill out in our brand new sensory room or if you feel a bit more adventurous, our exciting, child friendly garden is available for you to explore lots of interesting activities.

Inside you can be as messy and creative as your imagination allows you with playdough, paint, sand, water, glue and collage. You can also play in the home corner or with small world toys. Every week brings something different and our themed activities focus on special events throughout the year.

Grown ups can enjoy a cuppa and a chat in the meeting room where we also have free healthy snacks at the end of the session. Before it's time for home, we all join together for singing time!

Baby group (Babies at Play)

Our baby group is held every Thursday during term from 1 - 3pm. We provide a safe, friendly, stimulating environment for all birth to eighteen month. Your little one will have the opportunity to play outside in our well planned, imaginative garden.

Our wet area has plenty of creative activities such as:

  • sand
  • paint
  • water
  • playdough

for inquisitive children and busy fingers.

Come and experience our brand new sensory play room which is available throughout the session - please remember your socks!

Refreshments are available in the large meeting room. Come along and chat with our experienced staff and other parents, grandparents and carers. Free healthy snacks are provided at the end of the session, just before singing time.

We invite you to come and check out our fantastic facilities and friendly staff. It's all free, but any donations are gratefully received as these go towards our trips and events!

Parenting groups

We currently offer Webster Stratton (incredible years) parenting groups. We deliver the:

  • basic 12 week programme
  • the newly developed 12 week school aged programme with the follow on 4 week Education Unit programme
  • an 8 week Baby Webster Stratton for 0-6 months
  • a 12 week Toddler Webster Stratton group for 1-3 year olds.

The groups are available to parents/carers of children aged 0-12 years. The parenting groups give practical help on ways of understanding and managing children's behaviour.

Each week a specific area of family life is explored. Video clips and discussions are held based around specific topics.  Here parents can gain support from other members of the group and the trained group leaders.

We are developing a potential new service that will include nursery provision linked in with the parenting programmes.

The courses are free of charge and a creche will be provided. Anyone interested in attending needs to complete a referral form available from Priory Family Centre.

We are also involved in co-facilitating Strengthening Families Programmes for children 10-14 years which run for 8 sessions.

Aiming High Holiday Club

Our newest piece of work is a short break holiday club which has been named rClub by the children. This runs in the school holidays on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10.00am and 3.00pm and is for disabled children and young people 8 - 17 years of age with:

  • physical disabilities
  • complex health needs and learning disabilities.

We have lots of fun with:

  • arts and crafts
  • activities
  • dancing
  • singing
  • trips out, etc.

Referrals for this are from the Aiming High Disability Team.

We are starting a new family drop in February 2011 twice monthly on Saturday mornings from 10am-12.30pm where families and peers can come along and make full use of our facilities including our sensory room. Parents will be able to spend quality time playing with their children and meeting other parents; children will be able to meet with their friends.

Activities will all form part of the morning and will be available free of charge. All refreshments will be provided free of charge.

Volunteer activity

We offer volunteering experiences in:

  • Drop In
  • Baby Group
  • Nursery
  • Aiming High
  • other areas of our services, ie gardening and admin.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact us. Our volunteer co-ordinator is Carole Aldam and she will take good care of you. We also offer students the opportunity to gain experience through volunteering.