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.