Playworkers organise play and activities for children. Some work in playgroups and others in after-school clubs, holiday clubs or youth centres. These are places where children can go to be looked after, have fun and try new activities.
- Provide and set up play areas, materials and equipment
- Give out refreshments
- Talk to children about their concerns or worries
- Deal with injuries and emergencies
- Build relationships with parents, carers, and professionals
- Keep records and look after petty cash
Playworkers could be employed by local councils, charities and private companies that provide childcare. You could work for a company that run play schemes during the school holidays for their workers’ children. Some playworkers are self-employed and set up their own playgroups, clubs and playschemes.
Playgroups and playschemes are held in various places such as schools, community centres, village halls and leisure centres.
Working hours vary depending on the job. Playgroups are often held in the morning or after school and school holidays.
Starting salary is around £12,000.
There are no set qualifications for entry into this type of work. You can start as a playgroup assistant and get qualifications while you work. You can volunteer with a playgroup to build up your experience of working with children. This can often lead into paid work. Many employers will want you to have some GCSEs or qualifications especially in Maths and English, however some may be more flexible.
College – you could start with a Care and Childcare Entry Level Certificate or Level 1 Childcare Diploma.
You could also apply for an apprenticeship. If you have an EHCP you may be able to apply under the DfE exemption which allows the apprentice to use Entry Level 3 English and Maths qualifications. The apprentice would have to be component enough to successfully achieve all other aspects of the apprenticeship requirements, become occupationally competent and achieve Entry Level 3 in English and Maths before the end of their apprenticeship.