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Staffed Play Provision

Children have a right to play and play is central to a healthy childhood. However, children today face increased restrictions on their time, space and permission for freely chosen and personally directed play. Our staffed play projects aim to address this issue by supporting children to experience everyday, playful adventures similar to those taken for granted by previous generations of children.

These projects are staffed by training ‘playworkers’ who aim to support parents/carers and children to feel confident about playing out in their communities by creating playful environments, full of possibilities, where children can experience increasing independence and responsibility, safe in the knowledge that playworkers will be on hand whenever they may need them. This means that playworkers will provide children with resources and inspiration for play and will often become involved in play at the children’s request; however structured, adult led activities are less likely to be seen on these projects.

Just like previous generations of children, children today need to be given the freedom and independence to decide for themselves when, where and who they play with. These projects are therefore ‘open access’ which means children are not restricted in their movements, other than when related to safety matters, and can come and go from the settings as and when they choose. Playworkers do not have a responsibility to keep children on site for a specific period of time so it is up to individual parents/carers and their children to agree arrangements between themselves.

Open access playwork projects are free to attend and usually aimed at children aged five and above (under 5s can attend if accompanied by an appropriate adult). Play sessions usually take place outside and the facilities available will depend on the individual setting. Play can often get messy so we recommend being dressed in clothes which are ok to get dirty!