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Playworkers support children and young people to create their own spaces and opportunities for play.

Annual Salary

£15,000 to £25,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

27 to 29 variable

You could work: evenings / weekends;

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day work you may:

  • provide and set up play areas, materials and equipment
  • lead games and supervise children
  • 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 do admin tasks
  • make sure the play space is healthy, safe and secure

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work in the community or at a school.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

You could prepare for this job by doing a qualification like:

  • Level 2 Award in Outdoor Play and Learning
  • Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People's Workforce
  • Level 3 Diploma in Children's Play, Learning and Development
  • T Level in Education and Childcare

A first aid certificate will also be useful.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
For more information

You can start as a playgroup assistant and get qualifications while you work.

Volunteering and work experience

You can volunteer with a playgroup to build up your experience of working with children. This can often lead into paid work.

Direct application

You can apply for a playwork job if you're already a qualified childcare worker. You can also do the Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork qualification to help with this.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You'll find more details on working in childcare from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years.

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With experience and training, you could work for a local authority as a playwork development officer, supervisor or become a manager, or move into a school as a teaching assistant.

You could also be self-employed and set up your own after-school club or childcare project.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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