Play is under attack—and not just in the United States. The UK Department of Education has recently informed the national play organization, Play England that it will not be renewing its contracts after the current ones expire at the end of March, signifying the end of a 10-year national play strategy.
Yet again, adults in charge are failing to recognize that play is a vital component of a child’s education, preferring instead to view it as a “luxury” that can be de-prioritized during lean economic times. But Play England is not going to accept the massive spending cuts without a fight. They have launched Save Children’s Play, a national movement that empowers local communities to launch their own campaigns for children’s play.
Play England states on its website:
In a climate of massive public spending cuts, the play sector faces its most difficult challenge since the 1980's. Local authorities are facing tough decisions on spending, and children's play is being hit hard. Sadly, once we start seeing the impact of cuts - play sites falling into disrepair, play schemes closing and play services making staff redundant, it will be too late. The millions of children who rely on public play facilities will lose out for a generation.
We urge you to express your solidarity with our friends across the pond by liking the Save Children’s Play Facebook page. And whether or not you live in the UK, Play England’s “Save Play Action” pack is brimming with tips and ideas for starting a campaign to save play in your neighborhood. Download the action pack here.