Play: An essential part of Children and Young People's Plans.
In terms of play the Welsh context is different from almost every other country in the world. Our children play in the same way, have the same needs as those of other countries, but at government level support for play in terms of policy and strategy is, unlike elsewhere, well defined and incontrovertible.
This gives people providing for children and young people playing in Wales an advantage over colleagues in other countries.
The Welsh Government Play Policy establishes a rights based approach. Rather than looking at the ills of the world and at other agendas (e.g. crime prevention, obesity, or education of a future workforce) and suggesting ways in which play can provide benefits that may cure or contribute, both the Welsh Government and Play Wales have chosen to champion children and young people's right and need to play as an issue of entitlement within their communities.
Quality play provision and playwork are underpinned by the Playwork Principles, and by the Play Policy. These documents recognise that play is vital to children, of great value in their healthy development and in the life of communities and high up on children and young peoples own agenda. The fact that it supports other agendas is a windfall benefit to wider society.
The Welsh Assembly Government set out its vision for children and young people in Children and Young People: Rights to Action and Extending Entitlement: Supporting young people in Wales. This is further supported in Stronger Partnerships for Better Outcomes (July 2006) which provides guidance on local duties to cooperate and on lead roles in local authorities, LHBs and NHS Trusts.
There is an expectation that a duty to co-operate under the Children Act 2004 will be evident in local Children and Young People's Partnerships.