This children’s centre is tucked away in the playground of Hungerford Primary School, behind the main school building, which means it is totally secure and can only be accessed by the centre users.
Jackie, who runs the Stay and Play, is incredibly welcoming and more than happy to go through the centre programme with you (a varied timetable including baby massage, yoga and a knitting & crochet group). Stay and Play is split into a 0-6 month and 6-12 month group, although both are fairly flexible so a non-mobile 7 month old would be accepted with the younger children, for example. The room itself is large and bright, with a padded play zone for little ones, a quiet baby corner, messy play tables and a craft area, as well as a small outdoor space. A small kitchen overlooks the room, and parents were welcome to make themselves drinks during the session.
As with most of the Stay and Plays, the older children have a story, singsong and snack provided.
I was impressed by the room here. Great effort had gone into making the space exceptionally clean, bright and engaging.
Positives: clean, spacious, welcoming.
Negatives: I really couldn’t find any – perhaps having to avoid the barrage of schoolchildren if you try to navigate the playground during break!
- Website: via www.islington.gov.uk
- Stay and play times: 0-6 months – Friday 13.30-15.00; 6-12 months – Friday 09.45-11.45
- Getting there: not terribly well-serviced by buses, but it is less than a five minute walk from York Way or Hillmartin Road. There is pay and display directly outside the school, or park in a residents’ bay using Islington residents’ roamer parking.