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Norfolk early childhood community fund scheme

Covid 19 Update – July 2020

It is recognised that for leaders of local parent and toddler groups, there are additional challenges and considerations to consider in order to re-open the services to children and families. All group leaders will need to consider how they are able to follow government guidance about social distancing and minimising infection transfer for participants. We recognise the vital importance of these groups in providing local networks of support to parents and carers and have modified the funding available in order to support as many local groups as possible to re-open once they feel they are able and it is safe to do so.

New grant

To support parent and toddler groups in this position there will be a new “Covid 19 - Recovery grant” of up to £500 per group. We recognise that not all existing groups have appropriate resources and funding to manage the required expectations. This small grant will enable groups to ensure they can purchase good quality toys and equipment that can be cleaned effectively and regularly, as well as room dividers/furniture that will enable spaces to be managed into smaller areas to minimise infection transfer.

This is open to all groups that meet the criteria for the Early Childhood Community Fund. More information is available in our Early Childhood Community Fund Guidance.
Access the application form.

Training programme for Parent and Toddler Group Leaders

View our new training programme and expression of interest form for Parent and Toddler group leaders. If you are interested in attending any of our online sessions please return the expression of interest form to and we will set up online sessions to meet demand over the next few weeks.

Group Leaders are invited to attend a “Getting back to Parent and Toddler group” Zoom session to discuss any concerns they might have about reopening. To apply, please complete and return the expression of interest form.

Thinking about setting up a new parent and toddler group or expanding an existing one?

We recognise families may need, local, affordable, safe and stimulating places to go with their children even more once we are through the Covid-19 pandemic, so please continue to talk with us and engage us in any ideas and plans.

In line with government guidance, unfortunately our workers will not be able to arrange face to face meetings with you to support the set up or expansion of parent and toddler groups. All other aspects of Community Offer work remains unchanged.

As detailed below you can continue to:

On receipt and after discussion, you will be offered the advice and support you need, such as our guidance and application form and our Setting up a parent and toddler guide. If you need additional support, a worker can be allocated to speak with you by telephone or email conversation.

Although we have not set any further panel dates, we welcome applications for funding up to £2500. If you wish to submit an application, we will make the necessary arrangements for panel to discuss any bids that are received until panel resumes.

About the grants

Community groups that support young children and their parents in Norfolk, can apply to the community fund.

The Norfolk early childhood community fund scheme aims to:

  • Help children age 0-5 to achieve their developmental milestones
  • Ensure children and their parents or carers are not lonely or isolated
  • Increase opportunities for parents to come together and take part in fun activities, alongside their child
  • Deliver local services for young children and their parents within their community

How much are the grants?

Grants of up to £2,500 are available.

What can a grant be used for?

It will fund the start-up of new activities and groups or to increase the capacity of an existing parent and toddler group (e.g to run extra sessions or days to allow more families to attend)

It won’t fund standalone requests for resources or equipment for existing groups that are not increasing their capacity to allow more families to attend (We may be able to signpost existing groups to other sources of funding for this purpose.)

For more information check out our Early Childhood Community Fund Guidance.

We have also developed our “How to guide - Setting up and running a parent and toddler group” which you may find helpful.

How to apply for a grant

There is a two stage application process.

Step 1:

Complete the expression of interest form  

This form will give you the opportunity to share your initial ideas and plans. We will use the basis of this form to allocate a development worker who will discuss your ideas with you and can offer additional ideas, advice and guidance. Completed expression of interest forms should be sent to

The team will contact you with feedback on your proposal and can offer support to you if more information is needed prior to submitting a complete application.
From this, if appropriate, you will be encouraged to complete a full application form to be considered by the monthly panel.

Step 2: Full application

Once you have received feedback on your expression of interest, we will notify you that you can complete the full application and return by the submission deadline provided to

If you have any questions about making an application, or need to receive these forms in other formats email us

When can I apply?

Grants will be allocated on a rolling basis from 27 November 2019 via a countywide grants panel which will regularly award grants.

Grants will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Deadlines for applications

It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete and provide all the required information for panel. The application must be completed in full, signed by an authorised signatory and submitted by the deadline. Applications received after the submission date will not be considered until the next panel.

Application deadline

13 August
10 September
8 October
5 November
3 December
7 January
4 February
4 March

Grants panel

27 August
24 September
22 October
19 November
17 December
21 January
18 February
18 March

A grants' panel will decide which applications will be granted funding. The panel consist of representatives from the county council’s Achievement and Early Years Service, our Community and Partnership teams and our Commissioning team.

We are continuing to offer support with ideas for Parent and Toddler groups. We invite interested parties to continue to send in Expressions of Interest and applications.

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