Alternative titles for this job include Childcare assistant, wraparound care assistant

Playworkers help children and young people to develop their physical, social and language skills through play.

Average salary (a year)

£14,500 Starter


£22,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

10 to 25 variable

You could work

term time / school holidays flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Playworker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


You could do a college course to get some of the skills you'll need in this job. You could take a course in outdoor play and learning or a T Level in Education and Early Years.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information


You could apply to do a Playworker Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

This usually takes around a year and a half to complete and is a mix of study and workplace learning.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information


You could volunteer to build up your experience of working with children.

You could volunteer at:

  • a playgroup
  • a school
  • an after school club
  • a holiday club
  • an adventure playground

This may lead into paid work, where you could do training on the job.

Direct Application

You can apply for playworker jobs if you're already a qualified childcare worker.

You can also do the Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork qualification to help before you apply for roles.

More Information

Career tips

A paediatric first aid certificate will be useful but is not essential.

Further information

You can find more advice about working in childcare from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years and Early Years Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

You'll need to have a positive attitude towards children and enjoy working with them.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a playworker, you could:

  • set up play areas that encourage children to develop through play
  • build strong relationships with children and respond to their needs
  • lead games, supervise children and give out refreshments
  • encourage children to express themselves and talk about their worries
  • build positive relationships with parents, carers and professionals
  • make sure children are safe and secure 
  • deal with injuries and emergencies

Working environment

You could work in the community, at a school, in an NHS or private hospital or in a holiday play scheme.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience and training, you could:

  • work as a playwork development officer for a local authority
  • become a playwork scheme supervisor, senior playworker or manager
  • move into a school as a teaching assistant
  • become self employed and set up an after school club or childcare project

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Playworker right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

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Search for training courses near you.

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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Skills assessment

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