Play is vital to a child's development. Through play, children explore the world around them, and develop and practise skills. Play is essential for physical and emotional growth, and for mental, intellectual and educational development.
Play assists in acquiring social and behavioural skills, should be satisfying to the child, creative for the child and freely chosen by the child. Play may be boisterous and energetic, or quiet and contemplative, light-hearted or very serious. Equipment is not mandatory for play.
Government of Jamaica National Play Policy
Cabinet is being asked to note that the Ministry of Education is taking the lead towards the development of a National Play Policy, out of recognition of the integral role of play in holistic child development and healthy lifestyles, as well as in the reduction of school violence. It has established a National Play Coalition comprised of parents, teachers, education stakeholders and health professionals interested in promoting the value of play to teaching, learning and child development. The National Play Coalition intends to develop a National Play Policy which will be an explicit demonstration of the value of play in childhood and the importance of children in our society. By supporting this endeavour, the Government of Jamaica will make a strong commitment to ensure that children and their needs are central to policymaking, and that provision is made to meet those needs. The National Play Policy will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean region.