The volunteer workforce in Europe has an essential role in keeping many community facilities running and in the growth of new services. This is particularly true for projects that support opportunities for children. Many services working with children and young people operate in deprived areas and the children, parents and families benefit from quality provision for play in their community. Routes to employment in this sector are often through voluntary work as applicants are able to demonstrate their transferable skills and active participation, particularly appropriate to women returners.
There is no EU volunteer play training programme that provides training for volunteers in this vital area of providing for children’s play, demonstrates the ethos of the UK model of ‘playwork’, whilst also building social and civic competences.
Most European countries will have training courses to support the training needs of staff in play and childcare settings, however, the content of the product being transferred is specific to volunteers, many of whom will be women supporting their own children and therefore finding routes to returning into the workforce through the childcare sector.