Do you support the Charter for Children’s Play?
Way back in 1992 the Charter for Children’s Play was developed, and today it is still as powerful as ever. This underpins the work of Play England, the Free Time Consortium and of this campaign to Love Outdoor Play.
So whether this is the first time you’ve seen it or if it’s been your guiding document for the last 19 years how about letting us know how you or your organisation – or your family! – puts the Charter into practice?
The Charter for Children’s Play
All children and young people have the right to play and need to play: free to choose what they do – lively or relaxed, noisy or quiet – with the chance to stretch and challenge themselves, take risks and enjoy freedom. The right to play is enshrined in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Every child needs time and space to play
All children and young people – disabled and non-disabled – whatever their age, culture, ethnicity or social and economic background, need time and space to play freely and confidently with their peers, free of charge, indoors and outdoors, somewhere they feel safe. Play provision should actively include the widest range of children and seek to engage with those from minority groups.
Adults should let children play
Parents, carers and other adults can support children and young people’s play by respecting the value and importance of all types of play, playing with their children and by creating opportunities and allowing time for children to play independently with their friends, inside and outside the home.
Children should be able to play freely in their local areas
Children have the same right to use and enjoy public space as others. Local streets, estates, green spaces, parks and town centres should be accessible for children and young people to move around in safety and offer places where they can play freely, experience nature, explore their environment and be with their friends.
Children should have access to a choice of staffed facilities where children’s play rights and needs are the first priority, such as adventure playgrounds, play centres, holiday play schemes, after- school play clubs, breakfast play clubs, toy libraries, play buses and play ranger services.
Children’s play is enriched by skilled playworkers
Qualified, skilled playworkers are trained to put children’s play needs at the centre of their work in a variety of settings, enhancing the range and quality of play experiences for all children. They are the best people to run staffed play provision for school-aged children. The role of the playworker is as important as that of any skilled professional working with children and should be respected and rewarded accordingly.
Children need time and space to play at school
The school day should allow time for children to relax and play freely with their friends. Young children learn best through play and, as they get older, play supports and enriches their learning. Children learn best if teaching is creative and enjoyable. In school, time and space for play and outdoor learning is as important as formal teaching. School grounds should be good places to play.
Children sometimes need extra support to enjoy their right to play
Children and young people living away from home or visiting unfamiliar or controlled environments such as hospital, prison, immigration centres, and residential homes and schools, sometimes experience fear, anxiety and discomfort. For these children it is especially important to ensure they have good play opportunities facilitated by trained staff and volunteers.
Posters and background material about the charter can be downloaded from: http://www.playengland.org.uk/resources/charter-for-children’s-play.aspx. Do let us know if you’ve produced resources like these that you’d like us to share!