What is Open Access Play?

Open Access play provision can be permanent or short-term provision, located in a variety of settings with or without premises including play centres, adventure playgrounds, playschemes and parks.

The purpose of the provision is to provide staffed play opportunities for children in the absence of their parents. Children are not restricted in their movements, other than where related to safety matters and are not prevented from coming and going as and when they wish. Children have the freedom of choice as to what range of play activity they wish to undertake and with whom they play.

Children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.

Our main aim is to give children back the opportunity to play outdoors! Play is so vital to children, it’s a right by law. But due to the perceived dangers of todays society, many children are not getting out to play as much as they used to.

We offer free, staffed play provision on a number of outdoor settings in Duffryn that children can come and join in with – building dens, rolling around, getting muddy, having campfires, looking for bugs, inventing stories or just running about – whatever they want to do.

We take the lead for ideas from the children. They get to choose how, why and what they want to play and are encouraged to solve problems and work through disputes between themselves.

These sessions are developed with the community and are open to all – we are fully inclusive, please chat to the play ranger team for more information.

Parents/carers are required to fill in a registration form on the child’s first visit so we have the necessary medical info and emergency contact details. After that, children can come unaccompanied (under 4s need to supervised by a parent/carer).

Play can take many forms, but it often means getting a messy and mucky! It’s best to wear some old clothes/wellies.


Please note that we do not offer childcare during these sessions. Children remain your responsibility, they are required to let staff know when they have arrived and when they are leaving so we are aware of who is with us.