PlayBoard NI marks World Children’s Day
World Children’s Day took place on 20 November with this year celebrating 30 years since the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention establishes the rights that all children everywhere are entitled to, including the right to play. As the lead organisation for the development and promotion of children and young people’s play in Northern Ireland, PlayBoard NI marked the day with their annual conference, Play Matters because Play Builds Children at the Crowne Plaza, Belfast.
Jacqueline O’Loughlin, Chief Executive, PlayBoard NI said, “The 20th of November is a historic milestone in the field of child welfare and children’s rights, and PlayBoard’s vision and mission is premised on making the right to play a reality for every child in Northern Ireland.
“Play matters and is fundamental to a healthy, happy childhood. It is the most natural way for children to learn, grow, and develop the skills needed to thrive in later life. Play builds children through boosting their physical and mental health, resilience, confidence, creativity, problem-solving skills, relationships and much more. Our conference this year is focusing on play as a key building block of childhood.
“Play is not a luxury but a necessity; however there has been a dramatic loss in time spent by children playing outdoors over the last number of decades. At a time when there are worrying concerns for children’s health and well-being and an increase in childhood obesity, our conference aims to open up new possibilities for decision-makers to work collectively to deliver improved play experiences and opportunities for all our children, now and in the future.”
Derek Baker, Department of Education Permanent Secretary said, “The importance of play in children and young people’s development and well-being cannot be overestimated and it is fitting that today’s conference coincides with World Children’s Day.
“The Department of Education in partnership with PlayBoard delivered a range of collaborative projects to promote the importance of play for children’s health and learning and to further develop parental involvement in children’s early learning. I commend PlayBoard on the work they do to enhance opportunities for play in schools.”