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Registered playwork provision

Explore playwork

Playwork provision offers children opportunities to play in a place that’s staffed by trained playworkers. It may offer opportunities that children don’t get when they play in other places, such as home or school.

Playworkers work in a range of different places, including:

  • staffed adventure playgrounds
  • after-school clubs (out of school childcare)
  • holiday playschemes
  •  schools
  • doorstep play projects – such as street play
  • play ranger (peripatetic) projects – taking place, for example, in public parks.


Staffed play provision may happen at different times of the day and year, depending on the needs of the community and the funding available. The different times include:

  • After school – school or community based
  • During school hours – for example, school playwork projects, pupil referral or home education groups
  • Weekends – in a range of locations
  • Holidays – such as holiday playschemes.



Open access playwork provision

Open access playwork settings are staffed by trained workers. These settings are usually operated by local councils or community groups. They can be permanent or seasonal (for example holiday playschemes) and take place in a variety of locations including:

  • adventure playgrounds
  • parks
  • open spaces in the community
  • buildings–such as community centres and leisure centres.

In open access playwork provision, playworkers supervise children, aiming to support them so they can choose what they play and who they play with. Parents are responsible for making sure children can get safely to and from the setting. Children who can get to and from the setting on their own are generally allowed to do so. When the term ‘open access’ applies to settings registered with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), the provision is for children under 12 years. But open access setting soften cater for a wider age range, including teenagers and children under five whose parents stay on-site.


Out of school childcare provision

Out of school childcare provision is childcare that runs outside school hours. It includes care before school, after school and during the school holidays. Out of school childcare clubs help parents and carers return to work or training while their children enjoy play-focused, provision staffed by qualified playworkers. Out of school childcare is usually run in schools or community buildings and is a response to local needs. The qualifications for those working in this setting are known as playwork qualifications.


Registration with Care Inspectorate Wales

If play or child care settings are open more than two hours a day or more than five days a year, they have to register with Care Inspectorate Wales(CIW). Playwork qualifications are required for all registered open access playwork provision and out of school childcare. Settings that are regulated by CIW must work to the National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare.



National Minimum Standards 

Regulated playwork settings have to meet the National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare for children up to the age of 12 years.

Publication Library

Our publications are aimed at everyone who has an interest in, or responsibility for,  children’s play.

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