Playworker or Play Leader

Play workers organise, plan and take part in play and leisure activities for children. They also care for and supervise the children, making sure that they are safe and happy. They often work in before and after school clubs.

They are sometimes also called a play assistant, crèche worker or play carer.

The Work

You could be:

  • developing, planning and organising play activities for children aged three to five or for schoolchildren aged up to sixteen years of age
  • using play activities to help children to develop socially and emotionally
  • setting up play equipment and making sure play areas are safe
  • supervising children for fair behaviour during play, dealing with any minor injuries
  • liaising with parents or carers
  • preparing snacks for the children
  • taking children on day trips or other outings or organising nature walks in parks
  • keeping records and controlling petty cash
  • Dropping off and picking children up from local schools (if you work in out-of-school care).

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

  • where you work
  • the company or organisation you work for
  • The demand for the job.

Starting salaries for playworkers are usually between £8.50 and £11.00 an hour. Senior staff can earn up to £13.00 an hour or more.

Conditions

  • The work is usually indoors but may on occasion be outdoors.
  • You might work in a wide range of settings including: community centres, hospital playgroups parks or adventure playgrounds, playbuses, holiday play schemes and other types of children’s clubs or youth clubs.
  • You might work full time, but part time work is very common.
  • Working hours typically start at 7.30am and finish at 6.00pm. Hours may be concentrated in the evening after school, or during the school holidays.
  • School breakfast clubs run from 8.00am until 9.00am and after-school clubs run from 3.00pm until 6.00pm. You would cover both these shifts.