FAQs - Qualifications

Playwork qualifications – frequently asked questions for staff working in registered childcare and playwork settings.

These frequently asked questions have been generated in response to qualification queries received by Play Wales, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs, Social Care Wales and members of the Playwork Education and Training Council for Wales (PETC Wales).

They will be reviewed as changes to qualifications in Wales occur and as new questions are generated.

Please note there are two sets of questions – for those in year round settings and those working in holiday playschemes.

Year round settings

How are childcare and playwork settings regulated?

I’ve received feedback from our CSSIW inspector that I don’t fully agree with, what should I do?

What has changed in relation to qualification requirements for those working in registered settings?

When do I need to have playwork qualifications?

Where can I find the qualifications lists?

What age ranges do playwork qualifications allow me to work with?

What about Children’s Care Learning and Development (CCLD) – doesn’t that qualify me to work with older children too?

I am working in an open access playwork setting or after school club with children aged five and over, what qualifications do I need?

What about transitional awards?

I work in the early years and have a childcare qualification (for example CCLD) but also work with children over the age of eight, do I need a playwork qualification?

I only work with children under the age of eight, do I need a playwork qualification?

I have a teaching, youth work, sports coaching or other qualification – does that allow me to work in a playwork or out of school childcare setting?

Why are there two qualifications lists?

Can I access funded playwork qualifications?

Holiday play schemes 

What are holiday play schemes?

Why are there different qualification requirements for those working in holiday play schemes?

I am working in a holiday play scheme as a non-supervisory member of staff, what qualifications do I need?

I am working in a holiday play scheme as a manager, person in charge or registered person and I have an existing Level 3 qualification in a related field (teaching, youth work, early years), do I need another qualification?

I am working on a holiday play scheme as a manager, person in charge or registered person but do not currently have a level 3 qualification, what qualification do I need?

I am working in England and it seems there are different arrangements here.

Where can I find out more about playwork qualifications?

 

Year round settings

How are childcare and playwork settings regulated?

Any settings working regularly with children under the age of 12 for more than two hours per day and more than five days per year are required by law to be registered with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW). More information 

The ‘National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare for children up to 12 years’ (NMS) contain the standards against which settings are inspected and also any possible exemptions.

More information about the current NMS

I’ve received feedback from our CSSIW inspector that I don’t fully agree with, what should I do?

You are entitled to query decisions from inspectors that may relate to any aspect of your work. This may include: qualifications and experience of staff, policies and procedures, working practices, risk management or the physical environment. Not every setting meets these challenges in the same way and if you feel this is not reflected in the advice you have received, or feedback at the time of the inspection, then you should challenge what is being said.

Later, if you disagree with what is in your inspection report, it is okay to challenge this in writing, although you should try and do this within the timescale set. If you still feel that matters have not been resolved to your satisfaction you should contact Play Wales for further advice. 

What has changed in relation to qualification requirements for those working in registered settings?

In 2014, new regulations increased the age range that settings providing childcare need to be registered for. Settings looking after children up to the age of 12 are now required to be registered whereas previously it was those looking after children under eight. This means that in many cases, staff will need to hold a playwork qualification as well as an early years/childcare qualification.

When do I need to have playwork qualifications?

According to the National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare, if most of your work is with children over the age of five you should have a playwork qualification that is listed on the SkillsActive list of required qualifications. Playwork has always been the qualification for people working with children aged between five and eight prior to the changes to include children up to the age of 12. However, now settings working with children over eight are being inspected.

Where can I find the qualifications lists?

Social Care Wales list of Required Qualifications to work within the Early Years and Childcare Sector in Wales

SkillsActive list of Required Qualifications to work within the Playwork Sector in Wales

What age ranges do playwork qualifications allow me to work with?

Playwork qualifications are intended for those working with children aged five to 16 in a playwork setting. There are crossovers with age ranges of qualifications depending on the type of setting you work in to allow some flexibility.

Children’s Care Learning and Development (CCLD) is for those working with children under eight years old in early years and childcare settings whereas youth work qualifications are intended for those working with young people aged 11 to 25. This arrangement reflects the very different skills required to work in early years, playwork and youth work.

What about Children’s Care Learning and Development (CCLD) – doesn’t that qualify me to work with older children too?

No. Whilst CCLD includes learning around children’s development up to the age of 19 it has always been intended for those working solely with children under the age of eight. The assessment of practice within CCLD is only of work with children under five (early years settings). The inclusion of children up to the age of 19 is intended to address the specific requirements of older disabled children and their respective developmental and care needs.

CCLD also does not contain any content on facilitating play using a playwork approach and is therefore unsuitable for those requiring playwork knowledge.

I am working in an open access playwork setting or after school club with children aged five and over, what qualifications do I need?

If you work in a non-supervisory role, you need a Level 2 playwork qualification that is included in the SkillsActive Required List of Qualifications for your type of provision. At Level 2 the regulations require that 50% of staff in a setting are qualified to Level 2, this is to allow staff train ‘on the job’.

If you work in a supervisory role, are the registered person or named person in charge of the setting, you need a Level 3 playwork qualification that is included in the SkillsActive Required List of Qualifications for your type of provision.

What about transitional awards?

There is currently a transitional award at Level 3 from early years to playwork. This award is intended for those with a Level 3 CCLD qualification to gain playwork knowledge. The transitional award is on the SkillsActive List of Required Qualifications and meets requirements for registration. However, it was always intended for those whose main role is with children aged under eight. If staff are working more in a playwork role than an early years and childcare role they should be undertaking one of the diploma level playwork qualifications on the SkillsActive List of Required Qualifications.

For those with Level 2 CCLD, Agored Cymru’s Level 2 Award in Playwork Practice (L2APP) is suitable as a transitional award at Level 2.

I work in the early years and have a childcare qualification (for example CCLD) but also work with children over the age of eight, do I need a playwork qualification?

Yes. The qualification for working with children aged five and over is playwork. If your work is mostly with younger children an appropriate transitional qualification will be suitable.

I only work with children under the age of eight, do I need a playwork qualification?

No. If you work solely with children under the age of eight you should hold the appropriate qualification listed on Social Care Wales’ List of Required Qualifications.

I have a teaching, youth work, sports coaching or other qualification – does that allow me to work in a playwork or out of school childcare setting?

No. Playwork is a distinct profession and has distinct skills and knowledge. Without an appropriate playwork qualification you can’t be a registered person, person in charge or part of the ratios of qualified non-supervisory staff (currently 50% of staff in any registered setting need to be Level 2 qualified).

Why are there two qualifications lists?

Currently, Social Care Wales has responsibility for the early years and childcare workforce. SkillsActive, the UK wide Sector Skills Council, has responsibility for playwork. Whilst some of the skills across these two sectors are shared they are currently represented by different organisations.

Can I access funded playwork qualifications?

Currently, most of the funding being made available by Welsh Government for playwork qualifications is through an apprenticeship route. This approach includes a playwork qualification alongside numeracy, literacy and communication skills and is undertaken within the workplace.

If you wish to access a funded playwork qualification via a regular qualification route, you should approach Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs, local colleges and training providers to see if they are running any funded courses.

Holiday play schemes

(The FAQ’s for year round settings also apply to holiday play schemes but there are some special considerations to support holiday play schemes to overcome the challenges of qualifying a seasonal workforce)

What are holiday play schemes?

Holiday play schemes are short term provision operating during the school holidays and may be registered as either open access play provision or out of school childcare, depending on the level of care provided, as defined in the National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare for children up to 12 years.

Holiday play schemes serve to meet the needs of the community and may be a small business or managed by the local authority, Community Council, larger third sector organisation, voluntary management committee or a community association.

Due to the short term nature of this type of provision, staff in holiday play schemes may be volunteers or paid. Staff may be qualified in other work with children or be studying for other roles within the children’s workforce.

Why are there different qualification requirements for those working in holiday play schemes?

Because holiday play schemes are often staffed by volunteers, temporary staff or those who are qualified in other parts of the children’s workforce, Welsh Government recognises that requiring people to undertake diploma level qualifications that can take 12 to 18 months to complete is disproportionate and largely unachievable for most people.

To provide achievable, proportionate qualifications that reflect the way that holiday play schemes operate, and supports them to be registered, Welsh Government has funded the development of qualifications specifically for holiday play scheme staff:

 

I am working in a holiday play scheme as a non-supervisory member of staff, what qualifications do I need?

Any of the Level 2 playwork qualifications on the SkillsActive List of Required Qualifications are suitable. Agored Cymru’s Level 2 Award in Playwork Practice (L2APP) has been developed especially for you. The course can be completed in three days taught time with additional time for asssessment of knowledge and practice – a work placement of 20 hours is also required to complete the qualification.

I am working in a holiday play scheme as a manager, person in charge or registered person and I have an existing Level 3 qualification in a related field (teaching, youth work, early years), do I need another qualification?

Yes. You can undertake Agored Cymru’s Level 3 Managing a Holiday Play Scheme Award (MAHPS). This course can be completed in three to four days taught time with additional time for asssessment of knowledge. This course gives the contextual knowledge relating to playwork practice and your legal responsibilities as a manager of a holiday play scheme.

I am working on a holiday play scheme as a manager, person in charge or registered person but do not currently have a level 3 qualification, what qualification do I need?

You will need to complete a Level 3 playwork qualification from the SkillsActive List of Required Qualifications.

I am working in England and it seems there are different arrangements here.

There are. The Westminster Government has decided that any regulatory criteria will no longer include a requirement for providers to ensure any of their staff hold relevant qualifications. However, Play Wales recommends exploring a range of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) options for playworkers in England:

  • Attendance at key meetings, seminars and conferences
  • Undertaking short courses or larger qualifications
  • Private study and reading
  • Observation, mentoring and feedback on working practice.

 

Where can I find out more about playwork qualifications?

If you haven’t found the answer to your question in these FAQ’s please email our Workforce Development Officer