Wales is the first country in the world to legislate for children’s play through the introduction of the Play Sufficiency Duty requiring all Welsh local authorities to assess and secure sufficient play opportunities for children in their areas. In the winter months of 2012/13 Mike and Ben, in their respective roles with Wrexham Council and Glyndwr University, led on the completion of the local authority’s first play sufficiency assessment.
In our current and previous roles we have been involved with enabling both childcare providers and schools to consider how they might better plan their approach to facilitating environments where children play. The aim of this work has been to improve children’s subjective experience of play in these settings and support practitioners to feel more confident in their role of working with playing children.
Wrexham Council’s Play Strategy 2009-2013 (which Mike, as the local authority’s principle play officer, was responsible for producing) identified the need to develop a new risk-benefit management system that would better support professionals working with or on behalf of children to enable them to experience risk in their play.