Working with over fives - Playwork

Playworkers facilitate play opportunities and activities for school-aged children between the ages of five and eleven, outside usual school hours.

Where you could work

Out of school / playwork settings are usually based in or near schools and are run by the school, by private businesses or local voluntary organisations. They may include:

  • Play buses
  • Youth and community centres
  • Church halls
  • Adventure playgrounds
  • Breakfast clubs usually based in schools and open before school (7am – 9am) 
  • After school clubs usually based in schools and open after school (3pm – 6pm) 
  • Holiday playschemes usually open during the school holidays (8am – 6pm)

What the job might entail

  • Providing children with a safe place to play
  • Planning and organising activities
  • Leading play activities
  • Encouraging children to develop social skills and discover more about the world through play
  • Listening to children, building relationships with them, fostering their self-esteem, encouraging independence, helping them when they ask
  • Creating opportunities for children to try out new activities / experiences
  • Sometimes simply spending time being quiet and relaxed
  • Liaising with parents, carers and relevant professionals
  • Administration – for example keeping records

Opportunities for career progression 

There are good opportunities for promotion, and with further qualifications and training you can progress to being a qualified playworker, supervisor, deputy manager or manager of a play facility. Find out more about the roles and qualifications in the childcare sector.