Play is a natural and effective means by which young children learn, but in the current push for early education many children are experiencing more formal learning settings and strategies and less time for self-directed play. Staff in early childhood services need the support of research and experience in order to promote play, to better understand the various play styles of children, and to improve their own skills as facilitators of children's play and hence learning. Major issues in the play debate are 1. Adults working with young children need "playfulness" as a personal characteristic. 2. Adults need to enhance children's socio-dramatic play by, offering first-hand experiences, providing props and opportunities to play out experiences, observing children and then intervening in play effectively. 3. Adults need to trust that children can control their own self-directed sociodramatic play.