The attempted abduction took place at 4.29pm yesterday in Tunstall Road in Beeston and West Yorkshire Police were called to the scene.
A member of the public intervened and retrieved the child and detained a woman nearby until officers arrived and arrested her.
It is understood the woman and involved and the child’s mother did not know each other.
A 23-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the incident and is currently in custody.
Detective Inspector Charlotte Hails, of Leeds District CID, said: “This was clearly a very distressing incident for the little girl and her mother.
“We obviously have an active investigation with a suspect in custody so are limited in what we can say but we would like to recognise the public-spirited actions of the man who intervened.”