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National Week of Play

The Early Years Alliance has launched National Week of Play on 21st June 2021 to encourage and inspire early years professionals to ensure that learning through play is at the heart of their practice, and to support parents to discover and explore new play ideas for the home learning environment.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a hugely detrimental impact on children's access to play. It has restricted their ability to play with many playgrounds and outdoor recreation areas being closed denying the opportunities of play and socialising for children.

Play is fundamental to a child’s learning and development. Play is how children make sense of the world. It helps them express their feelings, manage emotions and find out about themselves and others. And that is why from 21 June the Early Years Alliance is launching a National Week of Play.

Early years settings can sign up for a free Play Week resource pack which contains a play week poster; family time tips; things to do in Summer; guidance and checklist and guide to help plan an event and template letters to send to local MPs and the media. 

Early years experts - Helen Moylett, Cathy Nutbrown, Nancy Stewart and Anni McTavish will be discussing importance of play and what the focus of practitioners should be in an online recorded zoom session which will be made available to practitioners to download.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of Early Years Alliance, said: “Today we are launching our National Week of Play, and a series of fantastic resources, 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, bringing with it so many benefits, and we must make it that way once again.”

“For a young child, March 2020 is a lifetime ago and will shape their experiences for a long time to come. 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 care givers to do the same – will be the key mechanism for doing that.”


For more information and to sign up to take part in the National Week of Play, please visit: https://www.eyalliance.org.uk/national-week-play.


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