Media release from the Children’s Play Policy Forum:
The UK’s Children’s Play Policy Forum is calling for all UK political parties to invest in children’s play because of the proven benefits to children, families and communities.
‘Four asks for play’ calls on the UK Government to:
Recognise the need for play before school, during play/break times and after school hours
Extend the existing Department of Health-funded programme supporting regular sessional road closures in residential streets in England to every major city in the UK
Invest in a programme focusing on disadvantaged communities to encourage appropriate play in public space, while reducing neighbourhood conflict and the resulting pressure on police time
Provide support for staffed play provision to test innovative community-based health and well-being initiatives.
Investing in the ‘Four asks for play’ will result in improvements in children’s health and wellbeing, the Children’s Play Policy Forum says, and hence a reduction in the pressures on the National Health Service and the public purse.
Studies show that the long-term health benefits of playing include boosting physical activity levels which helps to tackle child obesity, and supporting children to become more resilient. Play initiatives also benefit the wider community by encouraging neighbourliness and improved community cohesion.
Robin Sutcliffe, Chair of the Children’s Play Policy Forum said:
‘We know that playing provides immediate and long-term benefits to children, young people and the wider community. We all have a responsibility to ensure children have opportunities to play in their communities. We are calling on all political parties to provide for play initiatives across the UK – the level of investment needed would be relatively modest yet extremely cost-effective.’
The Forum is a cross-sector grouping of leading organisations with an interest in children’s play. Members include: Play England, PlayBoard Northern Ireland, Play Scotland, Play Wales, Fields in Trust, Association of Play Industries, Kids, London Play, SkillsActive and Black Voices Network.
Download ‘Four Asks for Play’ here.