The Importance Of Playwork

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The play space is not school, and whilst learning may be an important playwork priority, what is even more important is how the child learns and whether s/he retains control over prioritising what is learnt. Play is a process of trial and error in which the error is as valuable to learning as is the success. Within playwork we generally define play as behaviour which is 'freely chosen', 'personally directed' and 'intrinsically motivated' (Hughes, 1984). The definition is seen as having authenticity by playworkers because it recognises not only the child-centredness of play, but its experimental nature (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1967, 1970). (Hughes, 2001, p. 97)
Playwork, as defined in Bonel and Lindon (1996) as 'managing the play environment and
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You could be working for schools or at playcentres, which offer year round out of school provision, or for an adventure playground.
Opportunities are also available in childcare such as out-of-school clubs and holiday playschemes, mobile play provision such as playbuses, specialised settings such as hospitals, health service providers, social services, refuges or family services.
How much do you get paid?
Salaries in playwork are competitive and there are good opportunities for climbing the ladder.
For example, an interim summer playworker receives around pounds 7.50 an hour, a play development officer or adventure play development officer between pounds 20-27,000 and a resource centre management role around pounds 19,000.
Professionals seeking more senior roles, for example, working as a director of a playwork charity, can expect over pounds 30,000.
A rewarding career?
If you are committed to children's development, have a lot of energy, understand the value of free play and children's rights and, for some roles, are prepared to get very dirty - this could be the profession for you!
More information...
The national organisation for Children's Play: (Wales), (England) Children's Commissioner for Wales - and Children's Commissioner