Playworkers support children and young people to create their own spaces and opportunities for play.

Average salary (a year)

£12,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

27 to 29 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends

How to become a playworker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


You could prepare for this job by doing a qualification like:

  • Level 2 Award in Outdoor Play Practice
  • Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce
  • Level 3 Diploma in Children's Play, Learning and Development
  • T level in Education

A first aid certificate might also be useful.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 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 complete an intermediate and advanced apprenticeship in playwork.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information


You can start as a playgroup assistant and get qualifications while you work.

Volunteering and experience

You can volunteer with a playgroup to build up your experience of working with children. This can often lead into paid work.

Direct application

You can apply for a playwork job if you're already a qualified childcare worker. You can also do the Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork qualification to help with this.

More information

Further information

You'll find more details on working in childcare from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • 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

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day work may include:

  • providing and setting up play areas, materials and equipment
  • giving out refreshments
  • talking to children about their concerns or worries
  • dealing with injuries and emergencies
  • building relationships with parents, carers, and professionals
  • keeping records and looking after petty cash

Working environment

You could work in the community or at a school.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience and training, you could work for a local authority as a playwork development officer, supervisor or become a manager, or move into a school as a teaching assistant.

You could also be self-employed and set up your own after-school club or childcare project.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Playwork Assistant - Sheffield - SB2118

  • Wage : £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Sheffield S17 4FB

Apprentice Play Worker

  • Wage : £136.50 Weekly
  • Location: London N4 4BY

Courses In England

Playwork Apprenticeship (Intermediate, Advanced Level 3)

  • Start date: 03 September 2020
  • Location: BLACKBURN

CACHE L3 Diploma in Playwork (ALR)

  • Start date: 09 September 2020
  • Location: BLACKBURN

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