£2 million for play opportunities in Wales

Welsh Minister for Children Huw Irranca-Davies has announced that the Welsh Government has made £2 million available to help local authorities deliver play opportunities for children in their areas.

As the first country in the world to legislate for play, local authorities in Wales have a duty to assess for and then secure sufficient play opportunities for children in their areas, ensuring that every child has a wide range of challenging and interesting opportunities to play and enjoy their leisure time.

Under the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010, local authorities are also directed to consider the diverse needs of all children and young people in their area, including those with disabilities. The £2 million funding will help local authorities implement the actions identified in their 2018-19 play action plans, and deliver their 2019 play sufficiency assessments.

Among the projects receiving funding are inclusive after-school and holiday provision for children with complex needs, pilot projects involving children aged 11-14 years, enabling them to access Welsh medium play provision during school holidays, the renewal of playgroup surfaces to enable better access for all and the inclusion of sensory rooms in childcare and play settings, plus outdoor and indoor play equipment for local schools, encouraging them to make the equipment available out of school hours.

Irranca-Davies said: “In Wales, we’re proud that we lead the world on ensuring our children have the legal right to play. I am firmly committed to ensuring we continue to improve opportunities for all children and young people to play in safety and, in particular, to support improved access to play for children with disabilities.

“There’s increasing concern about the mental and physical health of children and young people.  At the same time, we know playing makes a significant contribution to the fitness and well-being of children and improving perceptions of well-being amongst children and their families. I am therefore really pleased to make £2 million of funding available to help our local authorities deliver sufficient play opportunities for children and young people in their areas. This will help ensure Wales truly is a play friendly country that meets the needs and rights of all our children.”