A significant component of the projects delivered by PlayBoard involves an element of training. As many of you will know, PlayBoard staff also deliver training across the playwork, youth work and School Age Childcare (SAC) sector and beyond, building an understanding of the play message and helping to make play work for children and young people. Here’s a sample of what staff have been doing recently.
Republic of Ireland
New guidelines and now an action plan have just been developed for the SAC sector in the Republic of Ireland. PlayBoard have delivered training to Sherpa Kids, a large SAC provider, for a number of years now. Following on from our ‘play surgeries’ last year, this year the programme looked at Quality in play and explored its key components – play, place, people, professionalism and policies.
PlayBoard staff have also been sharing the play message with training delivered via the National Childhood Network and numerous Childcare Committees and networks, including summer play training for Wexford County Council and Dublin City Council.
Sessions on play and playwork were delivered to a family support organisation in Newry. We know how important it is to get the play message across to parents, and recognise the therapeutic value of play – participants were delighted with the message:
- “I will be sharing with parents how the best play is child-led and with activities that are cheap or free”
- “One of the best classes I have attended”
- “He allowed me to connect to my own childhood and to think of how I could support children to get as much from their play as I did”
PlayBoard are contracted by the Childcare Partnership (CCP) to deliver specialist SAC training as part of the overall CCP training programme. Last term, one of our peripatetic trainers, Richard McMeekin, delivered training on ‘Planning for Play’ and ‘Physical Play’. Sessions were well over-subscribed and CCP plan to deliver more SAC-specific training in the new financial year. Visit the Childcare Partnerships website to view current training available.
One of the first face-to-face sessions we ran after lockdown was with a group of staff in Women’s Aid Belfast and Lisburn, looking at the power of child-led play and the part it plays in promoting a sense of well-being. We can all recognise the need and value of this, after lockdowns.
- “Our children and young people’s workers loved this so much! They were delighted to learn more about therapeutic and developmental benefits of play, and so happy that there are workers like Peter out there supporting us in our work with children and teens.”
Future training requests include a session meeting the play needs of 9 to 12 year olds for Action Deaf Youth and a number of sessions with College childcare students on adopting a playwork approach to working with children.
Getting Ready to Learn
We have been delighted again this year to be delivering a package of training support to Early Years Practitioners through the ‘Getting Ready to Learn’ initiative. Four training sessions are being delivered focusing on outdoor play, loose parts, playing with the elements, supporting children’s mental health and well-being through play and a play for parents programme.