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

Annual Salary

£12,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40

What's it all about?

You'll support children to follow their own ideas and interests for play. You'll make sure there are safe, interesting and fun play opportunities to meet childrens' individual and group needs.

You'll also follow health and safety procedures and help children to be aware of their own safety and that of others.

Your day-to-day work may include:

  • providing and setting up play areas, materials and equipment
  • giving out refreshments
  • talking to children about their concerns or worries
  • dealing with injuries and emergencies
  • building relationships with parents, carers, and professionals
  • keeping records and looking after petty cash

You may be invited to join in activities like sports, drama, music, den building, cooking and creative games.

You'll need to have a positive attitude towards children and enjoy working with them.

You'll find it useful if you have some related experience, either paid or as a volunteer.

You don't need any formal qualifications. You can train and get playwork qualifications while you work.

You could prepare for this job by taking a college course in playwork.

Before you start paid or voluntary work, you'll need a background check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

You could get into this career through an apprenticeship.

Skills Active have information on the role of a playworker.

£12,000 to £30,000

Starter salary: £12,000 to £14,000

Experienced salary: up to £20,000 (senior playworker)

If you work part-time, you may be paid pro-rata (a percentage of the full-time salary) or on an hourly basis.

These figures are a guide.

35 to 40

Most playwork is in the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays.

You'll be working indoors and outdoors, depending on location and the type of activity.

You could be based in a breakfast club, after school club, mobile play bus, holiday play scheme, adventure playground or children's centre.

Your work will usually be very active, and you'll join in with games and sports when you're invited to.

With experience and training, you could work for a local authority as a playwork development officer or become a manager.

You could also become 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:

  • excellent listening skills and a responsible and caring attitude
  • patience and tolerance
  • creativity
  • organisational skills
  • the ability to work well as part of a team
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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