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21/06/21 – National Week of Play

21st to 27th, June 2021

By Helen Clark: Director, Child Mental Health Charter Campaign 

The Early Years Alliance has launched a National Week of Play with the aim of encouraging all early years’ professionals to put play at the heart of their practice. 

Launching the week, Chief Executive Neil Leitch said: 

‘Today we are launching our National Week of Play … as a timely reminder that play is at the heart of everything we in the early years do as educators, The early years workforce is deeply concerned about the impact that lockdowns and social distancing measures have had on children’s development. Play should be central to young children’s lives, bringng with it so many benefits, and we must make it that way once again.’ 

‘As we think about how to support children’s recovery from this hugely challenging period, we must never forget that facilitating children’s learning through play – and helping parents and carers givers to do the same – will be the key mechanism for doing that.’ 

Practitioners in all early years’ settings, parents, carers and volunteers are encouraged to take part in the week and to promote the importance of play as integral to children’s wellbeing and healthy development. 

A resource pack can be downloaded by visiting the dedicated event web page: . 

Helen Clark: Director of the Child Mental Health Charter Campaign and Lead Author for the APPG on a Fit and Healthy Childhood added: 

‘This is a fantastic initiative from the Early Years Alliance I and I hope that it will be widely publicised and supported. Play is so crucial for the physical and mental health and wellbeing of all children but particularly those in the early years of life. 

I would encourage everyone to contact their MP and ask them to write to the Government’s Health Advisor for the Early Years, Andrea Leadsom. The Government must include play as a key component of its Covid Recovery Strategy and support early year’s practitioners, parents and carers in facilitating it for every child.’