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Children: Play

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what support his Department gives to the provision of opportunities for play for children. (152093)

We recognise fully the benefits of play for children and we continue to take steps to support and promote the provision of opportunities for play. For example, from September 2008, it will be mandatory for all schools and early years providers in Ofsted registered settings to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage—a play-based approach to supporting and improving the wellbeing and development of children from birth to age five. Extended schools will offer additional opportunities for safe, supervised play out of normal school hours. “Aiming High for Young People” published in July 2007 will support a major expansion of positive activities for young people over the next 10 years. The Department new has joint policy responsibility for play with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and will work closely with that Department and with Communities and Local Government and other Departments to build on the Government’s support for play outlined in the “Time for Play” document published by DCMS in 2006. As a first step, the Minister for Sport and I will meet Play England later this month.