Play is not only essential to child development but for human development. Therefore, it was important to study caregivers' views of play as they impact the amount of play that takes place in their child's life. As part of a group research project, the researcher, who is a social worker by profession and is studying through the University of Pretoria, explored the views of caregivers on play. Play may have transformed and evolved over time and will continue to transform; play may mean something completely different in different contexts, which was explored further, but the important thing is that children should still be provided with the opportunity to play, no matter how it is defined. Thus, to explore these evolving views of play the researcher conducted a study into caregivers' views on play and play areas, specifically within the Durban City Centre, eThekwini District. The study followed a qualitative research approach, where detailed descriptions were gathered from caregivers on their views of play and play areas, within the context of Durban city centre. Caregivers' views on play and play areas within Durban were explored using applied research as the appropriate type of research. The most effective method of gathering information regarding the views of caregivers on play and play areas was the collective case study research design, which was utilised. Interviews, specifically semi-structured interviews were used as the method of data collection. The focus of these interviews was to gather more detailed, personal and in depth information. Purposive, non-probability sampling was utilised within this study, as the entire population was and is still unknown to the researcher. The goals and objectives of the study were to theoretically contextualise the role of play in the lives of children in early childhood. To explore and describe caregivers' views on play in the lives of their children and explore and describe how and whether caregivers engage with their children in play. To explore and describe caregivers' views of the availability and utilisation of public play areas for their children. Finally, the last objective was to raise awareness among caregivers, professionals and local authorities on the value of play and access to play areas through conclusions and recommendations of this study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and the data gathered was analysed. The researcher identified four themes, with subthemes. These themes focused on the views that caregivers' have regarding play in the lives of their children. Caregiver's involvement in this play was also examined. Influences of caregiver's culture and own upbringing on these views surrounding play were another theme. Public play spaces were a focus within this study, examining who had access to a public play space and what factors encourage usage. Recommendations were given by the caregivers on how to make public play spaces more effective and useful to the community. From the findings of the study, the researcher identified several recommendations that could be given to professionals that deal with caregivers, recommendations to municipalities and local governments and finally for future research.
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2017.