Playwork is a highly skilled profession that enriches and enhances children’s play.

The role of a playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.

Interested in becoming a playworker? Find out more here.

A professional and ethical framework – known as the Playwork Principles – underpins playwork.

They describe what is unique about play and playwork, and provide the playwork perspective for working with children and young people. They are based on the recognition that children and young people’s capacity for positive development will be enhanced if given access to the broadest range of environments and play opportunities.

The Principles define play as ‘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.’

Playworkers are busy working throughout our communities in many different settings, including play centres, nurseries, after school clubs, holiday play-schemes, mobile play-schemes (like play buses), open access  adventure playgrounds, hospitals and prisons. Playrangers support children’s play in parks and open spaces.

Download our briefing on the unique benefits of playworkers and staffed play provision here.



Playwork is under threat from government spending cuts. You can really make a difference by supporting playwork provision in your area against these cutbacks. Some Playwork qualifications are also being withdrawn. Find out more and what you can do about it here.

If you are interested in supporting children’s play where you live, contact your local Play Association and find out how you can get involved.

To search for resources to support playwork, click here.

If you need further support and guidance, please get in touch.