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Playworker Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Playworker. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Playworker
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Playworker Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

Click here to View all the latest Playworker jobs online today

We feature many Playworker Jobs live online at this site and these posts are updated daily. Please book mark this page and return here on a regular basis or register with our site for Jobs by email so that you don't miss out on the latest work opportunities.

Working Duties Expected

Playworkers plan, organise and supervise play opportunities for children aged 5 to 15. They work as part of a team. The aim of a playworker is to enable children to experiment and learn about themselves and the world around them, through play. Children learn team work and how to socialise. They can use their imagination and develop their creative skills.

Playworkers arrange activities such as team games and sports, drama, music and other entertainments, art and craft activities, such as face painting and collage, and in some cases take children on day trips and outings - such as to the seaside, a zoo or country park. They supervise the children at all times to make sure that safety procedures are followed. Its also part of the job to encourage good behaviour in the children and deal with any challenging behaviour.

They set up and put away any equipment used and give first aid if needed. At the end of each day, they evaluate the days activities and keep any records needed. They liaise with parents, carers and sometimes other professionals. They're also there to listen to the children, and must follow the correct procedures if they suspect anything like child abuse.

Hours and Environment

Playworkers may work full-time or part-time. Most playwork is needed when schools are closed - in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays. But some work, especially hospital playwork, is during the day.

Playwork takes place in various places, including adventure playgrounds, schools, community centres or church halls, hospital playrooms or on a play bus or custom-built van. Work can be indoors or outdoors and is an active role involving lifting, bending and carrying.

Skills and Interests

To be a playworker, you should:

  • be able to build good relationships with children, their parents and carers
  • understand the needs of children and young people from 5 to 15
  • be aware of health and safety issues and provide a safe environment for the children
  • work well as part of a team
  • have good communication skills
  • be patient and tolerant
  • have good organisational skills
  • be creative and imaginative
  • have stamina
  • be aware of equal opportunities issues
  • encourage fair and caring behaviour among the children
  • be concerned with building up childrens self-confidence.


It is possible to take a 15-hour course called Making Choices. The aim of the course is to help you decide if working with children is the right career for you. Courses are run over one to three weeks, by a range of organisations including colleges, local councils, training providers, and voluntary bodies.

It is not always necessary to have academic qualifications in order to get into playwork. Many people begin by volunteering, and with experience, move into paid part-time or full-time work. Some people combine volunteering with working towards the CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Playwork.

There are a variety of qualifications available relating to playwork; these include foundation degrees, BTEC Higher National Diplomas, and degree courses. Entry requirements can vary, but may include five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and two A levels/three H grades, or equivalent.

For details of qualification equivalents see:
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

Adult entry into playwork is common maturity and experience with children are valued.


Employers usually offer on-the-job training, possibly endorsed by the SPRITO Play Unit (the National Training Organisation for Sport, Recreation and Allied Occupations).

There are a number of qualifications which may be undertaken whilst you are working in a relevant role, they include a City and Guilds Level 2 Progression Award in Playwork, and an NVQ/SVQ in Playwork at Level 2 or 3.

Senior playworkers can work towards a CACHE Level 3 Certificate of Professional Development in Work with Children and Young People or an NVQ/SVQ in Playwork at Level 3.

Playwork managers and playwork development officers can work towards NVQ/SVQ Level 4 in Early Years Care and Education.

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).


Playworkers are employed by local authorities, NHS hospital trusts, voluntary organisations or private companies. There are some full-time jobs but most are part-time. Some are seasonal, for instance in the school holidays.

The number of jobs for playworkers is growing quickly. There is a National Childcare Strategy which is planning for a huge expansion of opportunities for childrens play, care and education. It is estimated that 100,000 new playworker and care jobs will be needed by 2004.

Experienced playworkers can progress to supervisory or management roles. They can become self-employed and set up and manage one or more after-school clubs. With the right qualifications they could specialise in play development, play training, or play therapy. It can be possible to move into other related areas as a teaching assistant or youth worker.

Playworkers might be able to work abroad, especially with holiday companies.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Playworkers salaries start between £8,652 and £15,240 a year.
Experienced playworkers earn from £11,115.
The top salary would be around £20,364.

Many playworkers work part time or for only part of the year. They earn between £4.14 and £10 an hour.

Further information

Childrens Play Information Service
National Childrens Bureau
8 Wakley Street
Tel: 020 7843 6303

SPRITO Playwork Unit *
24 Stephenson Way
Tel: 020 7388 7755

National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

Other Useful Playworker Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Playworker job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Playworker Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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