Carlow Parent & Toddler Group Volunteer

Description of Service:

The Carlow Parent & Toddler Group operates every Tuesday from 10am to 12 noon at Barnardos, 24 Askea Lawns, Tullow Road, Carlow where the service is located in a local housing estate.

The aim of the group is to:

  • Provide a safe welcoming environment for children and their families to play together
  • Promote children’s well being and development through play and positive interactions with significant adults
  • Parents and carers will receive peer support and also support and advice from Barnardos staff in relation to child development and parenting
  • Children and families will be supported with specific needs and referred to relevant agencies

Outline of Volunteers Tasks and Responsibilities:

A volunteer with an interest and experience in early year’s development, play and positive parenting is required for the Carlow Parent and Toddler Group in order to assist the team, which includes a second volunteer with:

  • Preparing a child centred environment
  • Welcoming parents and children to the service
  • Interacting in a positive and friendly manner with both parents and children
  • Planning and supporting play activities
  • Supporting parents to build friendships
  • Assisting in the preparation of refreshments for parents and children (light snacks)
  • Helping set up / tidy up toys and equipment
  • Participating in the planning and reviewing of programmes
  • Assisting project staff to ensure a high standard of health and safety and good practice
  • Feeding back and completing with staff, when required, incident forms if any issues arise regarding child protection or health & safety
  • Facilitating staff to promote the parent child relationship of service users
  • Facilitating staff in encouraging parents to actively play with their children
  • Playing with the attending children in a child led manner


Induction and Support Plan:

  • The service will provide induction and support with the volunteer
  • Where possible the volunteer will be offered training opportunities as provided centrally in Barnardos
  • Supervised by project staff as assigned

Time Commitment:

As we try to ensure consistency of service to families and children attending the project we are seeking a minimum commitment of one session a week (Tuesdays from 09:45am to 12:30pm) for at least a 6 month period.

Person Specification:

  • Friendly and polite
  • Confident (dealing with general queries – following training)
  • Patience to deal with the various requests that can arise
  • Flexibility
  • Awareness of confidentiality in relation to service users
  • Understanding of child development
  • Have the capacity to work in a disadvantaged community
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Ability to respond in a positive and age appropriate way to children’s needs and behaviour
  • Ability to show initiative
  • A willingness to learn and experience new ideas
  • A willingness to accept and comply with Barnardos ethos, policies and procedures
  • A willingness to share experience, expertise and a willingness to accept support
  • To have a sense of humour
  • Willingness to play with children at their level, to sing nursery songs, to read stories and to engage in messy play (with paint, glitter etc)

Application process, references and Garda Vetting