Child-Friendly Policy

Photo of a girl looking through a tubeA child-friendly policy reflects a commitment to giving all children a say on issues that affect them. It identifies the needs of children and makes recommendations on measures which ensure those needs are met.

All good policies will include a vision statement, consultation with children and other members of the community, reference to creating a play friendly environment and a commitment to putting in place good facilities suitable for all ages and abilities.  Child-friendly policies should also show an understanding of how, why and where children play.

Who needs a child-friendly policy?

Any organisation or group who carries out work which effects children’s access to the outdoors needs a policy. Local authorities, private developers, urban planners and development agencies should take the needs of children into consideration. Any change to an area will impact on children and there is a need for policy to ensure that impact is positive. Statutory bodies and semi-statutory bodies may all need policies to facilitate children’s participation in their community.


Illustration of communitySometimes communities come together to write their own policy, particularly if there is a lot of traffic on the streets and children’s freedom is curtailed.

Changes in legislation, strategy and so on which affect the right to play and pariticipate should also be ‘child-proofed’.

Developing your child-friendly policy

If you would like to put together a policy to ensure the needs of children in your area are met, you should consider what facilities are in place and whether or not they are suitable. Also look at how easily can children walk through the neighbourhood, how safe is it for them to be there, what the age group of children in the area is, and consult with as many children and adults in your community as possible to get a good sense of needs ability and cultural diversity.

Playtime works with organisations and individuals who are developing child-friendly policies. If you would like us to assist you with your policy, contact us and we look forward to talking to you.