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Ballyclare Nursery School, Grange Drive, Ballyclare

Funded through the Early Intervention Transformation Programme (EITP) the Children and Young People’s Strategy Team in the Department of Education are excited to be progressing a Play and Leisure Project aptly titled ‘Play Matters!’

The Play and Leisure project aims to ensure that policy makers, practitioners and parents understand that play is a vital part of childhood and is necessary for children and young people’s overall healthy development.  The key beneficiaries of the project will include children and young people, parents, families and wider communities.

One of the best ways for children to stay both physically and mentally healthy is through access to a variety of unstructured play opportunities.  The Play & Leisure project being taken forward promotes the concept of play which is freely chosen and self-directed by children and which has no particular goal.  This is a really exciting initiative and a fabulous opportunity to highlight how important play is amongst parents, professionals and policymakers.

Play Matters to everyone and through the project we plan to work with a range of key stakeholders to deliver a robust programme of activity including play specific training, play modelling and play advocacy and messaging.  Key play messages, targeted at parents and professionals alike will be promoted throughout the project encouraging individuals to consider just how important play is for children and young people.

If you would like more information on the project contact Angela Stallard at