Bea Waterfield and Donna Twyford the co-owners (since 2005) of Baby College® discovered the original core Baby College programme running in Reading in 2004, they quickly recognised the potential of the innovative and varied programme and brought the classes to Oxford in 2005. After 10 years further expansion, improvement and development they launched the current Baby College classes, as parents across the UK know and love them now, as a franchise in 2015. Baby College at Home and Inspiring Parents UK Group were added in 2020 and 2019 respectively.
Along with music, signing and sensory activities; specific physical movements are central to the Baby College® classes. One of the original developers, Alison, became interested in developmental issues whilst trying to help her two sons deal with dyspraxia and dyslexia. She came to understand that neurological developmental delays could lead to problems with learning and, in her quest to discover more information, trained with Sally Goddard Blythe at the Institute of Neuro-Physiological Psychology (INPP) in Chester, UK where she became an associate. As a neurodevelopmental practitioner and qualified teacher she spent a lot of time helping school-age children who were underachieving educationally due to developmental problems. She then went on to set up gym-style baby classes for babies where she used specific movement routines to encourage correct early development.
Running these for more than 15 years, she teamed up with other new mums, who had attended her gym classes. Together they established the first Baby College® programme in 2000, offering baby development and parenting insights in weekly baby classes to new parents. Forward 21 years and Baby College® franchisees across the UK and abroad now offer a complete developmental workout for little ones and a wealth of information for their parents.
We are very proud to also run the fantastic Facebook Group Inspiring Parents UK with experts including Professor Helen Ball from BASIS and psychologists Professor Lauren Stewart and Dr. Caspar Addyman from Goldsmiths along with many more leading experts, including sleep and behaviour consultants, from the baby development and parenting world.