Play after lockdown – advice from Play England
One of the most toxic effects to come out of the current pandemic is the destructive impact it has had on children’s play; the spaces they play in, the degree of freedom they experience and their ability to choose what they do and how they do it. Instead, children have been imprisoned in the home, often in the same space as tired and pressured parents. The potential increase in poor mental and physical health from this mix, not to mention its likely developmental consequences, is obvious.
Children have been massively affected by the physical and social changes that have restricted their daily lives in an unprecedented way. Play is the key way that children will be able to understand their experiences and to mitigate any negative impacts.
Schools, out of school clubs, childcare and nurseries are all trying hard to respond to the practical guidelines being issued but the real issues will be children’s mental health and processing difficult experiences during this period.
Play England has published a guide written with play theorist Bob Hughes for professionals and parents to enable them to prioritise children’s play as lockdown eases. This short document is intended to provide a framework making it possible to address the issues arising from the impact on play of coronavirus and help those who will be dealing with the fall-out when the virus has abated and as parents begin to take their children to different play and child-care facilities again.
Play After Lockdown provides practical advice to support child wellbeing, manage risks and provide leadership in planning for play.
The Government released updated guidance at the beginning of July for out of school settings for children. This guidance is for parents, carers and staff and it covers changes to after-school clubs, holiday clubs, tuition, community activities and other out-of-school settings for children and young people over the age of 5 during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
These settings provide enriching activities that give children the opportunity to socialise with others outside their household and promote their wellbeing. The importance of these settings in providing additional childcare options to parents and carers, particularly those with younger children, who may need to return to or continue to work during the school holidays is recognised.
In addition to covid-19 related issues, the guidance covers safeguarding matters too, including finding out whether staff members and volunteers have relevant child protection training, and relevant checks have been made.
CACHE offers a range of qualifications in Playwork for practitioners working with children and young people. Find out more on our website.