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Childcare

Playworker

Playworkers help children and young people to develop their physical, social and language skills through play.

Annual Salary

£14,500 to £22,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

10 to 25 variable

You could work: evenings / weekends; flexibly

5.4%
Future employment

There will be 5.4% more Playworker jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a playworker, you could:

  • set up play areas and make sure they are safe and secure
  • lead games, supervise children and give out refreshments
  • talk to children about their worries
  • build positive relationships with parents, carers and professionals
  • deal with injuries and emergencies
  • keep records and work closely with parents and carers

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
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly
College

You could do a college course to get some of the skills you'll need in this job. Courses include:

  • 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 Early Years

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
Apprenticeship

You could start on a Playworker Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

This usually takes around 18 months to complete and is a mix of study and workplace learning.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You can volunteer with a playgroup or after school club to build up your experience of working with children. This may lead into paid work, where you could do training on the job.

Direct application

You can apply for playworker jobs if you're already a qualified childcare worker.

You can also do the Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork qualification to help before you apply for roles.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

A paediatric first aid certificate will be useful but is not essential.

Further information

You can find more advice about working in childcare from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years.

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With experience and training, you could:work as a playwork development officer for a local authority; become a playwork scheme supervisor or manager; move into a school as a teaching assistant; become self employed and set up an after school club or childcare project

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • 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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