By Alessandro Brunelli
The Scottish Government has announced it will invest £3 million in play opportunities for children in Scotland.
The announcement was made today by Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell as she was visiting Thornlie Primary in Warsaw.
£1.5 million will be invested in the recruitment of more ‘Play Rangers’, figures that help giving the children more opportunities to play by making the best of the existing public spaces, £1.05 million will be dedicated to school playgrounds and £450.000 will go to the support and recruitment of Scotland’s play sector staff.
The package, which runs until 2015, is part of the wider £270m Early Years Change fund, and is going to be managed by Inspiring Scotland (IS) and Grounds for Learning (GfL).
Ms Campbell added during the visit:
“Play is central to how children learn and a basic part of their overall quality of life. As a Government we recognise it’s crucial to develop quality play spaces for our children as part of their positive, wider development. This funding will help build upon some of the great work already underway to enhance play opportunities for our children and help make Scotland the best place for children to grow up.”
Andrew Muirhead, Chief Executive of Inspiring Scotland said:
“Over the past two years, the Go Play programme has gathered evidence which shows the effectiveness of the Play Ranger model in enabling more children to access free play in their local communities.
“We are delighted this new investment will enable us to continue working with a selected number of existing Play Rangers models with the ability to grow and expand in some of the communities of greatest need in Scotland, proving more opportunities for children to develop through free play.
“Through this new investment, Inspiring Scotland will also look at ways of continuing to support the wider play sector.”
Grounds For Learning’s Programme Manager, Alastair Seaman commented:
“We know children’s opportunities to play outdoors in natural spaces are shrinking so we’re thrilled the Scottish Government has recognised the strategic importance of school playgrounds and play times in giving children the play experiences vital for an active, healthy and happy childhood.”