Playworkers make the play process their priority; we act as advocates for play. Playworkers neither direct nor organise the play, we are trained to judge when or whether to intervene.
My playwork qualification was completed in Wales. Wales was the first country in the world to have a national play policy! This means that people who make big decisions that affect children and young people in Wales have to recognise that play is very important. The National Curriculum supported this by introducing the Foundation Phase in 2008. The Foundation Phase places great emphasis on children learning by actually doing. Children are given more opportunities to gain hands on experiences through play and active involvement rather than by completing exercises in books.
"The best thing about being a playworker for me is creating a bigger voice for children!"
Children have told us time and time again that play is important to them. We as playworkers really recognise the importance of play. All children and young people need to play, the impulse to play is innate!
Play is a process that is freely-chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. This means that children and young people control the content of their play. This is done by them following their own instincts, ideas and interests for their own reasons.
Children really need to discover their world surrounding them, learn about each other and start to understand themselves and play allows them to do exactly all of this!
I can’t be thankful enough that Play is actually a profession. Australia lets embrace playworkers, especially the Welsh ones!!
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop growing”
-George Bernard Shaw