Why join the Register of Playwork Professionals?

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Registered member Ashley Rodgers

With the Register now officially live, having launched at the KIDS Hayward Adventure Playground in Islington, we spoke with Ashley Rodgers, Senior Development Officer at Play England to find out why he decided to join the Register of Playwork Professionals.

Ashley wanted to be part of something that not only benefits himself, but also drives forward the professionalisation of the Playwork sector. He strongly believes that “playworkers deserve recognition for the excellent and crucial part they play in children’s development and lives.”

When talking about the Register, Ashley firmly believes and encourages that people should most certainly join, as it’s important to “help professionalise the Playwork profession and gain formal recognition of your qualifications for future employers.” 

We also asked Ashley what he felt the benefits of being on the Register were and how it can help in the future.

Ashley said, “My Playwork qualifications are formally recognised and any future employers can have confidence that I have the qualification I say I have! I look forward to having the opportunity to link up with other people in the sector and share experiences and good practice.”

And finally we asked how he thinks the Register can help parents and give them peace of mind when it comes to their children. 

“Parents can have even more confidence in play settings across the UK, knowing that staff are qualified to provide the best play opportunities and care for their children.”

If you know anyone that may like to join the Register then please do help us spread the message, as we strongly believe that it is important to professionalise our industry.

Help celebrate Playday 2014

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Playday is the national day for play and this year Playday was held on the 7th August. Now going into its 27th year, Playday is the biggest play sector event in the UK! As well as being a celebration of play, the Playday campaign highlights the importance of play in children’s lives and in light of government cuts to the play industry, it is more crucial than ever that we unite to stand up for play!

The Playday campaign this year asked everyone to help ensure that the places where children play and hang out are great places to play.

The campaign identifies that:

  • Children should feel welcomed and part of their community
  • Parents want their children to be able to play outside
  • Public space should be designed and managed with children’s play in mind
  • Children and young people need to be involved in planning the places and spaces where they play

Figures released by PlayEngland stated that 648 events were registered via the Playday website throughout the UK, which is pretty incredible and we hope the celebrations continue with such high numbers next year!

Regional breakdown

East Midlands (34)

East of England (24)

London (43)

North East (11)

North West (48)

Northern Ireland (13)

Scotland (19)

South East (278)

South West (54)

Wales (43)

West Midlands (47)

Yorkshire and the Humber (34)

Events ranged from small-scale private events to public events attended by thousands. Venues and types of events again ranged significantly, reflecting the diversity of people, communities and organisations involved in the campaign.

In a recent survey, over a third of Playday event organisers thought the Playful Places campaign had an impact at a local level and 27% of those felt Playday had boosted their community spirit, which is fantastic news.

We really hope more people will be involved in this fantastic and worthy cause next year, which will be taking place on Wednesday 6 August.You can also follow the latest developments of the campaign on twitter by searching for the hashtags #Playday2014 and #righttoplay. The Playday team have also been busy tweeting some fantastic ideas you can get involved with. Here are our top five:

1. Hold a street party on 6 Aug & help children & communities reclaim streets for play

2. Invite friends & family to a playful picnic on 6/8 & bring people together through play

3. Organise a community-wide event on 6 Aug & bring communities together through play

4. Choose a high-profile spot for your celebration on 6 Aug & publicise the value of play

5. Arrange a play date with friends on 6 Aug & spend the day playing for plays sake

To find out how you can get involved in celebrating the national day for play, please visit www.playday.org.uk.

All figures have been taken from the results of the Playday 2013 organisers’ survey, which was completed by 156 participants.

Fancy yourself as a budding blogger?

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Do you have any news, ideas or tips you’d like to share with the Playwork Community? If so, then we would love to hear from you. We’re always open to your suggestions and contributions for our blogs.

This could be about your experience as a playworker, or your views on the latest industry news and research. Maybe you’d like to share stories about your play sessions or tell everyone about an event happening in your area. Whatever you fancy really!

With the potential for your blog to be read by hundreds of playworkers we’d love for as many of you as possible to be involved, so even if you already have your own blog then please do get in touch as we’d like to promote (and cross-post from) a wide range of blogs.

If you are interested then please send your ideas and blogs to marketing@skillsactive.com.

Playwork Register officially launches

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Last week saw the official launch of the Register of Playwork Professionals at the Hayward Adventure Playground in Islington, which was warmly welcomed as an exceptional resource for ensuring children have the best opportunities to play creatively.

 
As a recent Health & Safety Executive’s document stated, ‘the opportunity for play develops a child’s risk awareness and prepares them for their future lives’, while children’s right to relax and play is entrenched in the Unicef summary of rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 
Lesli Godfrey, UK Strategic Lead for Playwork and the Children’s Workforce, said, “The importance of quality play in our children’s well-being and development cannot be over emphasised. Play is increasingly recognised as fundamental for children’s health, well-being and future adult development. The Register of Playwork Professionals builds on the expertise gained from the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), seeking to replicate its success by raising the profile of playwork within the children’s workforce, ensuring high quality, rigorous standards and professionalism.”

 

Lesli Godfrey added, “We know that a broad range of environments and play activities provide children and young people with opportunities for challenge, discovery and adventure. A qualified workforce reassures parents that their children can safely enjoy the benefits of quality play, while being looked after by professional staff – we encourage parents to ask if a playworker is a Register member.”

 
SkillsActive developed the Register of Playwork Professionals in partnership with employers, playworkers and representatives from key national organisations, including Play England, KIDS, Sheffield Hallam University, Leeds Metropolitan University, Unite, Unison, Outburst Kids, Fit for Sport, CACHE, City and Guilds, Pearson, Scottish Qualifications Authority.

 
Lesli Godfrey concludes, “The new Register of Playwork Professionals encourages professionalism in the sector, and reassurance for parents. Children and young people of all ages and abilities can be encouraged to creatively explore their world. It is essential that we inspire children to be challenged through play, whilst also feeling safe and supported. Through supporting a child’s right to play, we can lay the groundwork now to ensure future generations have the tools to live fulfilled, confident and healthy adult lives.”

 
The event was attended by employers, registered members and key figures within the playwork sector and also included a lively debate and Q&A session with Lesli Godfrey, Barry Walden (London Borough of Camden) and Angela Brown (Training in Child care).

 
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support of the Register as it wouldn’t be possible without it, and those who were able to attend on the day. In case you were unable to attend we also have a video of the days events included that Q&A session coming soon.