Why is play so important?
Play is a drive in children that is vital to human development and survival.
Through play, children learn about themselves and the world around them.
Play helps children develop confidence, self esteem, creative abilities, dexterity and social skills, as well as being a way to explore the physical world.
Every child deserves and has the right to play, and good play opportunities are everyone’s responsibility.
Play workers should promote environments where everyone feels happy and secure, providing an exciting, stimulating, secure environment in which to play and to support the individual to become a positive, self confident, independent and self disciplined person.
The Play staff balance the management of risk in play with the provision of a secure and hazard free environment
The playcentres operate under the guidance of The Playwork Principles, these 8 principles are a framework for the provision on quality play environments.
Play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well being of individuals and communities.
Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.
The prime focus and essence of playwork is to support and facilitate the play process and this should inform the development of play policy, strategy, training and education.
For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with
adult led agendas.
The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.
The playworkers response to children and young people playing is based on a sound up to date knowledge of the
play process, and reflective practice.
Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people’s play on
Playworkers choose an intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well being of children.