It is something that playworkers have long been asking for and is designed to support them in developing their qualifications and careers. The success of a four-month pilot, with 100 applicants, also suggested that the Register will prove a valuable reference point for employers and parents, and thereby generate increased confidence in the sector.
Lesli Godfrey, UK strategic lead for Playwork and the Children’s Workforce at SkillsActive, said, ‘The Register of Playwork Professionals does what it says on the tin and will boost the possibilities for children’s play. A qualified workforce reassures parents that their child can safely enjoy the benefits of quality play while being looked after by professional staff – and we are encouraging parents to ask if a playworker is a Registered member.’
Developed in partnership with employers, key organisations such as Play England and KIDS, Sheffield Hallam University, and unions Unite and Unison, the register has also had considerable input from playworkers themselves. SkillsActive has also worked with awarding bodies including CACHE, City and Guilds, Pearsons and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
Playwork professionals can now be qualified at various levels up to and including Foundation Degree, Honours Degree and Postgraduate qualifications. The register will also collate playworkers’ CPD points, which can be gained by attending workshops and seminars, for every two year period.
The launch next April of the Journal of Playwork Practice, published by Policy Press in association with training company Common Threads, will provide additional support. Available in print and online, the journal will feature new academic articles and research, encourage research into playwork practice and promote an interdisciplinary approach to working with young children across the range of settings.