When is the toy library open?

Tuesday and Friday 9.30 to 12.30 and Wednesday 9.30 to 2.30.
During school holidays, Tuesday 9.30 to 12.30.
We can also open for individual appointments, contact us if you’re interested.

Who can use the toy library?

Anyone from across the city can join the toy library and borrow toys to take home. Most members are families and childminders as well as nurseries and community groups.

How do we join?

Come into the toy library when we are open and you can join and borrow the same day.

What age range do you cover?

We have toys and books for babies and children up to age eight. Most of our resources are chosen for pre-school children because we are based in a children’s centre.

What else can we borrow?

We have books for adults too; academic books for students, how-to-books for parents and carers from positive parenting advice to naming baby books.

How much does it cost?

There is more information about joining the toy library here.

How long can we borrow stuff for?

Up to two months. Some people keep resources for that long, others swap twice a week, once a month or whenever they are nearby. If you can’t make our opening times, you can leave your returns in reception at Tarner Children’s Centre, open Monday to Thursday 9 to 5 and Friday 9 to 4.30.

How much are the fines?

There aren’t any! We shall call or email you a reminder if you are late returning resources.

What happens if we forget what we have borrowed?

No problem! When you borrow from the toy library, you are given the top copy of the list and we keep the carbon. If you lose your list we can replace it when you next visit, or give us a call and we can read it out. Some canny folk are taking photos of the list so they don’t lose it!

What happens if books and toys get broken?

Let us know and if possible bring back the pieces! We won’t charge you the cost of toys and books if they get lost or broken in your care. Some borrowers choose to make a cash donation or replacement, and that’s kind but not compulsory.

Do you take donations?

Yes! We take any books and toys in good condition. If we have lots of the same already, we pack them into bags and the Health Visitors take them to children who have no toys, for example because they have just left the refuge with their mum.

What I.D. do I need to join the toy library?

None, we just need your address and email or phone details on the membership form.

How much stuff can I borrow?

It usually works out to a carrier bag’s worth, but it depends how big the toys and books are!

Are there any restrictions on what I can borrow?

Some children are keen to take all the dolls or trains or dinosaurs home in one go, but we gently encourage them to leave some for everyone else to borrow.
We have a selection of WOW vehicles that we especially fund raised for. They are frequently used in the play sessions we run and cannot be borrowed. But they can be played with in the toy library and are very popular.

Who owns the toy library?

The Early Childhood Project is a registered charity; it is run and managed by it’s Executive Committee and Trustees. Day to day it is managed by the Project Co-ordinator.

Where do you get your funding from?

We receive grants from Brighton & Hove City Council which also commissions us to provide play services across the city. The rest is from running training sessions, our membership fees, donations and fund raising.