Close this search box.

National Childhood Network (NCN)

SAC Toolkit

SAC Toolkit

National Quality Guidelines for School Age Childcare

The Guidelines, which comprise guidelines, components and elements, are intended to complement the regulations for school-age childcare services.
The purpose of these Guidelines is to assist and guide school-age childcare service providers and staff to reach beyond and aspire to achieving more than the minimum standards set out in regulations.

Participation Framework

National Framework for Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making.

The Framework is a means of enabling the implementation of the National Participation Strategy across sectors and professional groups with a shared understanding and approach. The Framework is also a response to requests from stakeholders for guidance on meeting their obligations under the CRC, the CRPD and domestic policy and legislative provisions on children and young people’s right to a voice.

Playwork Principles

Play Principle 1

All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well-being of individuals and communities.

Play Principle 2

Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.

Play Principle 3

The prime focus and essence of playwork is to support and facilitate the play process and this should inform the development of play policy, strategy, training and education.

Play Principle 4

For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult led agendas.

Play Principle 5

The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.

Play Principle 6

The playworker’s response to children and young people playing is based on a sound up to date knowledge of the play process, and reflective practice.

Play Principle 7

Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people’s play on the playworker.

Play Principle 8

Playworkers choose an intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well-being of children.

The Playwork Principles were developed by the Playwork Principles Scrutiny Group, Cardiff 2005.

Seven Play Objectives

Play Objective 1

The provision extends the choice and control that children have over their play, the freedom they enjoy and the satisfaction they gain from it.

Play Objective 2

The provision recognises the child’s need to test boundaries and responds positively to that need.

Play Objective 3

The provision manages the balance between the need to offer risk and the need to keep children safe from harm.

Play Objective 4

The provision maximises the range of play opportunities.

Play Objective 5

The provision fosters independence and self-esteem.

Play Objective 6

The provision fosters children’s respect for others and offers opportunities for social interaction.

Play Objective 7

The provision fosters the child’s well-being, healthy growth and development, knowledge and understanding, creativity and capacity to learn.

The 7 Play Objectives were developed by the NPFA (Best Play, 2000).

Bob Hughes - The 16 Play Types


Devised by Bob Hughes, published in full in ‘A playworker’s Taxonomy of Play Types’ (PLAYLINK, second edition 2002).
Available from PlayEducation, 13 Castelhythe, Ely, Cambs CB7 4BU.
Play types images courtesy of Play Scotland.