The Right To Play Children And Young People Essay

Published: 2021-06-24 09:25:04
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Category: Children and Young People

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Introduction
This report has been conducted from a recent literature review on the importance of play in children’s development play. This report forms part of a small scale evaluation of the Waddington Kids Club before and after school club service, provided by 4Children. The Kids Club is located on a Royal Air Force (RAF) camp located in Waddington Lincolnshire and predominantly used by RAF personnel. The rationale behind this was to see why parents sent their children to the club and how important play is for their child / Children. While the results and conclusions drawn here are from the primary research undertaken and can be summarised from the results, it should be noted that they will be presented in a wider context in a larger report to be published in the future the organisation the author is employed by.
Background:
Wadddington is a large rural village situated in the North Kestevan district of Lincolnshire and is located four miles from the south of Lincoln. And is also home to one of the most important Air Force bases in the United Kingdom RAF Waddington is located to the east of the village (Shane Chapman 2013) According to the 2001 census Waddington village had six thousand and eighty six (regarding population) (Statistics about Waddington 2013). Of which houses three hundred and ninety four serving families of whose children attend the Kids Club (Hive Information 2013).
Waddington Kids Club was opened in 2004 at the request of the RAF for those families living on the and for those children attending the local school in Waddington village.
The United Nations Convention (1989) state that all Children have the right to play according to Article 31 which states:
‘Children have the right to participate and engage play’.
Children have the right to play
"All children and young people have the right to play and need to play: free to choose what they do – lively or relaxed, noisy or quiet – with the chance to stretch and challenge themselves, take risks and enjoy freedom. The right to play is enshrined in Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child" (Play England 2009 p3)
Methodology
The parents of the children attending the before and after school club were the targeted group for the research. A total of 60 questionnaires were sent out to those families and carers whose children attend the before and after school club in January 2013. A copy of the questionnaire can be found in Appendix A.
Results
Of the 60 questionnaires sent out, 36 were returned giving a response rate of 36%. The following chart details the reasons parents gave for putting their children into the before and after school club. Parents were allowed to choose as many options as they felt applicable.
Chart 1: The most frequent reason for attending Waddington Kids Club
Parents Stated: They are able to go out to work and their children are able to socialise with a larger group of children. Parents found the location very accessible with it being in the same vicinity of their place of work and easy access to the local primary school that their children attend.
Chart 2: Will show how parents rated what the Kids Club had to offer for their child / Children
The two main characteristics rated most favourably are the staff at the sessions and the equipment provided. After that the other factors of the sessions are rated almost the same. Only one ‘poor’ response was made and this was referring to the snacks provided at sessions.
However some parents made some comments when they returned questionnaires and some of these are included below.
Snacks
"These are healthy"
"more fruit…"
"would like to see fresh fruit every week"
"…a lot of variety"
Equipment
"not so much Sand"
"in some sessions there are not enough"
"always a wide selection for all ages and child preferences"
"as my children have got older they have found them less stimulating"
"some different ideas on the odd occasion to stimulate play"
"Children are able to choose what they wish to play with"
" not enough variety for the older boys"
Structured activities
"helps to develop concentration and to follow instructions"
"child too young"
"need to be more seasonal i.e. water play in summer not winter"
Unstructured play
"Help children to explore find their own space and learn through play"
"Children are able to run round and enjoy themselves without worrying about hurting themselves"
"It gives the children a chance to play with what they choose"
Outdoor play
"Help children to explore the outside space"
"Children are able to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors with fewer obstacles"
"Have more opportunity to play outside at the kids club than they do at home"
The parents were asked if their child’s behaviour changed when playing outdoors and if they felt outdoor play was important. When asked most parents’ believed that outdoor play is important for their child’s development.
Chart 3 – Children’s behaviour change whilst playing Outdoors
The majority of parents did feel that their children had benefited from attending the Kids Club sessions and believed that it had helped with their child’s behaviour and has given them some freedom for more outdoor play. Department of transport (2006) Children today do not get out to play that often as times have changed fewer children are playing outdoors due to the dangers. There was only one person that disagreed on their child concentration whilst playing outside most
parents agreed that their children play outside better as they are not confined to one particular space.
Discussion
The response of the questioners sent out to sixty parents was quit poor as only thirty six where return for research purpose this is quite low. In future when questioners are sent out to the Kids Club parents the author will need to look at a more effective way in getting the information back.
Information gathered from questionnaire shows why the children attend the kids club with the most popular being parents at work and easy access as the Kids Club is located at RAF Waddington and the majority of those children that attend the club live on the camp and attend the local school.
From the response and comments from parents they seem happy about the Club and what it provided for their children. Even though one part was graded badly by one parent. Whilst on another questionnaire the child’s behaviour was rated quit high regarding outdoor play according to James Tweed (2003) outdoor play can help children’s self-esteem and can bring down vandalism and bullying. Comments made by parents regarding children playing outdoors was on the positive side as some children do not get much of a chance to play outdoors when they get home.
The Kids Club was not only put in place for those parents that go out to work but for children to socialise and enjoy all aspects of play and to be able to enjoy the outdoors, and to develop their social skills and behaviour 21 out of 36 parents agreed that outdoor play encourages positive behaviour and agreed that their children played better.
Snacks provided at the kids club came back with only one parent who found the snacks "poor" as the time of the questioner children had been offered biscuits and not fresh fruit however the author stats that fruit is out at all time during the sessions and children are offered a varied healthy snack
which are different every day. Feedback from the questionnaires shows that the parents want the Kids Club sessions to be supporting a healthy diet by providing a variety of fresh fruit at each and every session.
The equipment used at the Kids Club was rated good and comments made were quit mixed some parents did feel there was not enough variety for the older children and what was available did not stimulate them enough. Some further research will need to be done in this area and more planning involving the older children to help provide a better service. To add to this one parent commented about the water play and thought it should not be out all the time as some parents have issues, like their children getting wet and that they will need to provide a change of clothing, a suggestion to this could be that parents are given the weekly planning sheet with the daily activities which will include water play so parents have the opportunity to inform the author if they do not wish their child to take part in the this activity.
The structured activities received the most ‘average’ comments, which compared to the other aspects does indicate there could be improvement in this area. Again the comments made provide useful information as to issues with this part of the sessions. While those that did participate felt the activities were valuable to their child’s development and learning not all children were old enough to participate, which may be a reason for the slightly less
favourable ratings. In addition staff planning the activities need to bear in mind the season so that they are not perhaps creating discomfort for the children, e.g. getting them wet during winter. Again, though, forewarning would enable the parent to bring a change of clothing. From the comments made by parents it would appear those planning and running the sessions have got the unstructured aspects and the duration just right. No unfavourable comments were made by any of the parents nor were there any suggestions for improvement. The comments made about staff were almost overwhelmingly positive with the vast majority of the parents offering high praise for those facilitating the sessions. Only one negative comment was made but what cannot be
explored here is whether this is a single comment due to on-going poor experience of staff interaction or just a single incident that has been reported here. A primary focus of all work is to provide notable outcomes for those children accessing the services. Out of 36 replies, 30 felt that their child now played better as a result of attending Kids Club. With play being such an important part of a child’s development and learning this is a very promising outcome. The majority of parents (24 out of 36) also felt that their child shared toys better and 21 out of 36 parents felt their child concentrated on tasks more. While these are still good outcomes they are not as widely acknowledged as the child playing better, which suggests there may be a need to plan future activities around these two areas.

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