Playwork is a highly skilled profession that enriches and enhances children’s play. It takes place where adults support children’s play but it is not driven by prescribed education or care outcomes.
SkillsActive’s role is to improve the quality and range of play opportunities for children and young people through the professional development of the playwork workforce across the UK – providing those with jobs working with children with training and development resources and opportunities.
Playworker jobs with children can be found in a range of settings, including:
- Adventure playgrounds
- Play centres
- After school clubs
- Holiday play-schemes
- Mobile play-schemes operating from buses and vans.
Play rangers work with children in parks and open spaces and, in some areas, playworkers can be found in schools.
Our vision is "A skilled, qualified and developing play workforce, whose practice is underpinned by the Playwork Principles, who provide high quality, accessible play opportunities for children and young people". Find out more about our strategy for 2011 - 2016.
We offer a coordinated voice for the ‘working with children’ sector, which is reflected in a coherent and research based demand for skills, and we work with training providers to meet the skills and training needs of the sector.
Professional, well-trained playworkers are a key part of the children’s workforce and we work to influence education and skills policies across the four nations, ensuring their relevance to the sector. We also work to advise government on how to prioritise its funding to help those with jobs working with children.
SkillsActive is supporting Play England's Love Outdoor Play campaign which is calling on everyone to Love Outdoor Play in whatever way they can. This could be as simple as taking five minutes to map their local play space on the online map, signing up to regularly give money, time or skills to a local play project, or finding out about local – or national – volunteering opportunities to help more children play outside more often.
You can show that you Love Outdoor Play now by:
- Showing your support and joining in the discussion on the Love Outdoor Play bog at www.loveoutdoorplay.net.
- Spreading the word about the campaign through your social networks, your blog or via your local media.
Love Outdoor Play was launched by The Geography Collective in 2010 to increase and improve outdoor play. Play England now leads the campaign with a new focus to reach the original aim – making sure more children can play out more often by increasing social action for children's play.