Play Support Assistant


This course is the perfect base if you want children and young people to get the  most out of play activities either in the home, or in a ‘play’ setting.  Perfect for if you want to support your own children or those of others. This is also the first step in becoming a Playworker. 

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As a Play Support Assistant you will support children and young people to create space in which they can play.  There is an ethical framework of ‘Playwork Principles’ that forms the basis of this profession. Professional Playworkers and those supporting play can work or volunteer in many different settings, including play centres, nurseries, after school clubs, holiday play-schemes, mobile play-schemes (like play buses), open access  adventure playgrounds, hospitals and prisons. Play rangers support children’s play in parks and open spaces.

What will I learn?

We start the Play Support Assistant with the theories that support learning through play and Playwork. The importance of play in children’s lives and the expected pattern of children’s development. We also discuss how they positively impact on the play setting and how to support healthy lifestyles.

Secondly, we delve into creating a stimulating play environment the type of issues you can come up against. Then, following that,  we look at the types of resources as well as attitude & behaviour and how they can be improved.

The third Module examines how you can promote positive relationships in and outside the play setting. That means we cover how to build relationships and working with other people and organisations like schools etc.

Next, it’s all about understanding the importance of promoting equality of opportunity, and diversity for children, young people and adults. Moving onto how to protect and safeguard children and young people from abuse and safe working practices.

Finally, the last module is where we get our hands dirty and apply what we have learned! It’s all about consulting and working with children and young people to create diverse, inclusive play environments.
Planning and preparing spaces for play and the legislation that underpins play.

Other excellent courses on offer include our short and bespoke Childhood Transitions course about supporting childing through the changes that occur in life and our Learning Support Assistant .

Course Aim


This course is an introduction to Playwork for those who would like to broaden their knowledge to support their own children or those in their care and work at home or in Playwork settings. It is designed to help you support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play and is based on the National Occupational Standards.



By understanding how children learn through play, and the principles of play, you will be able to support your own, or other children by providing valuable structured opportunities for the children to make the most of in their development.



Upon completion of this course, you could work or volunteer in a nursery as a play support assistant, support in an after school, activity or holiday club, enhance your skills as a nanny, or continue your studies to become a fully qualified Playworker.


You might also be interested in Preparing to Work with Children and Young People, Professional Nanny Care, Learning Support Assistant, mapped to the 2018 version of Supporting Teaching and Learning, Supporting Transitions or other topics like Understanding Children's Psychological Development, or Managing Challenging Behaviour.

Course Syllabus & Content

Module 1 - Theories underpinning learning through play and Playwork

  • The importance of play in children's lives and the expected pattern of children's development.
  • Underpinning theories and principles of play and Playwork and their impact on the play setting
  • Supporting healthy lifestyles

Module 2 - Creating an environment to support play

  • Key practice issues when creating an environment to support children’s and young person’s play needs.
  • Resources
  • Attitude & behaviour

Module 3 - Promoting positive relationships in Play.

  • How to develop and promote positive relationships in and outside the play setting.
  • Building relationships
  • Working with other organisations

Module 4 - Promoting opportunity and safeguarding

  • Understand the importance of promoting equality of opportunity, antidiscrimination and diversity for children, young people and adults
  • Understand how to protect and safeguard children and young people from abuse
  • Safe working practices

Module 5 - Creating diverse and inclusive play environments

  • Consulting and working with children and young people to create diverse, inclusive play environments
  • Planning and preparing spaces for play
  • Legislation and play

Additional Info

Duration for this course:
You can take up to 1 year

Number of lessons:
15 lessons within 5 modules

Study Hours:
Approximately 20 - 30 hours dependant on the level of detail you include in the activities and the time spent on the exercises

Study Method:
Online platform with videos, challenges, quizzes and activities

How is it assessed?
By the successful completion of multiple-choice quizzes at the end of each lesson

Tides Online Certificate of Achievement

Entry Requirements:
There are no formal requirements for entry, however, all materials and assessment are in English, therefore a good command of English is essential.


Q: How do I access the materials?
Once you have selected your dream course you can enrol online. You can either pay in full, or if you have PayPal Credit, you will have the option to use PayPal Credit for the purchase if the course is over £99. As soon as the payment is received, you will have access to the course materials online where you can take as long as you want, or need, to work through the course and the activities.

Q: How long will I have access to the materials for?
You will have access to the course materials for 12 months, however if you need longer, just contact us to arrange to extend your access.

Q: Can I do more than one course at a time?
Yes, however you will need to set up a separate enrolment plan for each course.

Q: How are the courses structured?
Lessons are grouped into modules. Each lesson within a module has links to external sites for additional information and there are tutor challenges and activities. The tutor challenges are designed to add value to the course, and you do not need to submit any work to complete the course, and the activities form part of your self-development and self-discovery. We also recommend keeping a journal to make notes and record your thoughts and progress.

Q: Do I get a certificate?
Yes! At the end of each lesson there is a set of multiple-choice questions, you need to pass at 80% before moving on to the next lesson. Once you have completed all the modules. you will be able to download and save, or print, your very own Tides Online Certificate of Achievement for your records, or to show someone else that you have completed the course.

Q: Can I get hard copies of the course materials?
We can provide the materials as an e-book for you to print off and refer to, or provide the materials in printed form, however, you will still need to do the quizzes online in order to gain your certificate. Please contact us at for pricing information.

Q: What skills do I need to join this course?
An open mind and a willingness to learn and develop yourself is all you need to benefit from our courses and start your journey to becoming the best you can be. Please note that all materials are in English.

Q: What is included in the cost of my enrolment plan?
Access to the online digital materials for the course you have chosen. Our materials are designed and developed in house by subject specialists and we supply everything you need to complete the course, including links and references to free resources to study in more detail if you want to. You will also be able to visit our blogs and articles for inspiration and motivational tips any time you want.

Q: Is there an additional or required reading list?
All the materials we supply will provide you with all the information that you need to complete your chosen course or journey, but you are directed to further sites and videos that are free to access if you want to gain a deeper understanding of your chosen topic. We will always recommend additional reading, however that is to enhance and support an advanced understanding of the subject, but that suggested reading is not a requirement - the study materials will provide all the information you need to complete the course.

Q: Do I have to take an exam?
No, successful completion of this course will be as a result of passing the end of lesson quizzes at a minimum of 80% as you progress through the course.

Q: Can I do the course if I live outside the UK?
Yes! This is an online course, so can be studied from anywhere, just remember that everything is in English.

Q: Can I speak with someone if I get stuck or want a tutorial?
Yes, you can contact us via email with any queries or to request a call for help with anything. We also offer one to one virtual coaching and mentoring sessions either by phone or Skype/Zoom. These can be booked in 15, 20- and 30-minute time slots. Contact us for pricing information.

Q: What shall I do if I still have questions?
Contact us at to book a call and we'll run through everything with you.


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