Play Sufficiency Assessment
Play Strategy – Pembrokeshire 2021-2024
‘Every child has the right to play’
Wales is the first Country to introduce legislation to support the rights of children to play through its 'Wales: A Play Friendly Country' statutory guidance which was issued on the 1st July 2014.
What is play?
Play is a child’s right and is enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that every child living in Wales is entitled to and has a right `to engage in play and recreational activities` (Article 31 - UNCRC). A popular definition of play within the profession is that play is `freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated behaviour that actively engages the child`(Hughes and King 1982). The key implication is that children choose WHAT they do, HOW they do it and WHY they do it.
In Pembrokeshire we understand that play has an extremely important role in a child’s development, not just to their physical development but their social and cognitive development too. Children and young people play in many different ways and at many different times and places. For children and young people play is far more than just ‘letting off steam’, it is what they want to do in their own time, for their own reasons. Through play, children and young people are able to explore the world around them and to learn to take responsibility for their own choices.
We want to encourage play wherever possible, by providing well-designed and high value opportunities that will attract and capture the imagination of all ages, giving everyone the scope to play in new, exciting and more creative ways.
Why a play strategy?
The Play Strategy is key in ensuring Pembrokeshire is the best place for children and young people to grow up. Play is a vital ingredient of a happy and healthy childhood.
We would like to be responsive to children, young people and families within our county, rather than designing play spaces around professionals.
As a council, we also need to consider:
- how interactive we can be, in terms of play provision and promotion;
- if provision is appropriate;
- how expansion can be properly planned;
- how maintenance will be funded; and
- working with more partners, so it is not just the council providing funding and resources. (For example, Town and Community Councils, the Forestry Commission, commercial activity providers, schools, community groups, the voluntary sector and the NHS.)
A play strategy:
- provides a framework for planned and appropriate play provision;
- gives a far better foundations for determining the best use of space and funding; and
- helps establish the correct level of contribution required.
The strategy identifies the types and extent of play provision across Pembrokeshire to provide accessible, inclusive and equal play opportunities.
In order to enable long-term sustainable planning, development and funding for play provision in Pembrokeshire, this strategy has a lifespan of three years from 2021 to 2024.