BPCN supports Nechells after school programme

Birmingham PlayCare Network has recently been supporting a family after school programme focusing on craft and healthy cooking. The eight sessions were delivered at Nechells Pod and were accessible to all families in the local area.

Uniting families

The programme provided families with the opportunity to come together and use The Scrapstore Birmingham materials to create items such as puppets, cars and moneyboxes.

One of the craft sessions offered the children the chance to create their very own board games, stimulating thought around what rules they would like in their game as well as design-based considerations for custom made counters and dice.

Putting designs into practice

Once the board games were complete, the children sat with family members to play each of their games. Ellee Gunnell, Project Worker at Birmingham PlayCare Network said:

“It was a lovely moment to watch as children are often swayed towards computer games and mobile phones once they leave school for the day, so to have the opportunity to sit with family members and share time and laughter together was something that Birmingham PlayCare Network is very proud to be a part of.”

Staying healthy

Activities within the programme also included healthy cooking, where the staff at Birmingham PlayCare Network spent time with the children to identify foods that are rich in nutritional value. Whilst doing this, children were encouraged to explore different fruit and vegetables, including ones that they had potentially never thought to try before.


Whilst each session saw the families create culinary delights such as fruit and vegetable kebabs, pancakes and fruit parfait, the fun cam alongside the tasting session.

Birmingham PlayCare Network would like to thank all of the families for taking part and for highlighting that the art of conversation and family time is still as important as ever.

18 Jul 2017

Network meeting held to support out of school clubs

On Friday 23rd June Birmingham PlayCare Network held a network meeting for the out of school clubs in the North Birmingham District. The gathering took place at Hollyfields Sports and Conference Centre, and saw clubs from Erdington, Sutton Coldfield and Great Barr attend.

The session offered the opportunity for all settings to discuss a variety of topics and to share knowledge, good practice and practical issues from their clubs.

The 30-hour early years entitlement

The sessions, which ran from 10am till 12pm, explored the implementation of the 30-hour early years entitlement. Whilst settings were given guidance to take away and digest, providers were able to discuss what the practical implications will be, and how other clubs are considering the implementation.

Practitioners also discussed the early years heath and well being services consultation, as well as addressing clubs procedures during a lock down situation, and Early Years Foundation Stage profile examples, which is a prevent duty screening tool. Ellee Gunnell, Project Worker at Birmingham PlayCare Network highlighted how the North network meeting has grown in strength over recent months:

Settings “reaching out” to each other

“I am aware of settings that have now been to view each other’s practices following the connections that they have made after attending the network meetings, and that is lovely to see. Settings are now reaching out to each other for partnership work. After this session, two settings combined their staff team to be able to access training that they would not have been possible individually”

If you are an after school provider in Erdington, Sutton Coldfield, Great Barr or Perry Barr and wish to attend the next network meeting, or would like your details to be added to the mailing list for this group, then please let Ellee know at: Ellee@bpcn.org.uk.

12 Jul 2017

National Playwork Conference inspires actions to combat diminishing qualifications

An emerging cause for concern over the recent cull of playwork qualifications and the resulting potential effects on the sector has inspired two new action points from Play England’s National Playwork Conference that took place in March 2017.

The first element aims to support and promote the development of a new playwork apprenticeship coined the ‘Trailblazer’ qualification. Unlike previous apprenticeship, this one will not have the restrictions on age, and so will be an important way for the play sector to take on new staff and get them trained and qualified.

Secondly, the lobbying for CACHE and City and Guilds to extend registration of the Diploma in Playwork levels two, three and five. The two organisations have reviewed their stance and extended the registration for some of the qualifications for another year. Ellee Gunnell, Project Worker at Birmingham PlayCare Network said:

“Playworkers have been fantastic so far in lobbying qualification awarding bodies to extend registration of playwork qualifications.

“Playwork qualifications are still in danger of disappearing as each awarding body will have a required number of registered participants to make it financially viable. Here at Birmingham PlayCare Network we encourage the whole playwork sector to support and champion the recognition of the playwork qualification.”

Play England has produced a model template letter if you wish to express your concern at the reduction of playwork qualifications.

If you are interested in registering for a Playwork Qualification then here are the last dates for registration:

City and Guilds

Qualification Level and Title                      Last date for registration

Level 2 Award in Playwork                         31 July 2018

Level 2 certificate in playwork                   31 July 2018

Level 2 Diploma in Playwork                     31 July 2018

Level 3 Diploma in Playwork                     31 July 2018

Level 4 Award in Playwork                         30 Nov 2017

Level 5 Diploma in Playwork                     31 July 2018


Level 2 Diploma in Playwork                     31 Aug 2019

Level 3 certificate in Playwork                   31 Aug 2019

Level 5 Diploma in Playwork                     31 Aug 2019

02 Jul 2017

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