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Playcentre Media Releases

For further information or to submit a media release please contact the Federation Media Contact, at, media@playcentre.org.nz



National News

Playcentre Celebrates Volunteer Awareness Week
9th Jun 2009
The Playcentre Federation is proud to celebrate its 11,000 volunteers, who help to provide a rich education for young children all around the country.

Playcentres nationwide are run by volunteers, who are supported by a few paid staff. 90% of session supervision positions, and many thousands of hours of management are provided by volunteers in the nearly 500 Playcentres around the country.

“Nationally, we work in a voluntary system” said Federation President Marion Pilkington. “In a 2004 study, looking at Value Added by Voluntary Agencies (the 'VAVA report'), Playcentre volunteers' work hours equated to over 1170 full time equivalent paid staff. This is equal to the top 1% of profit making companies such as Telecom. Our members do an amazing job – they are to be congratulated!”

Parents are provided with early childhood and management education and support through Playcentres’ NZQA accredited Adult Education Programme, which enables them to expand their skills and make a positive, professional contribution to the high quality early childhood education provided in the Playcentres.

“The Playcentre Education programme is about growing as a person, a parent and an educator” said Federation Education Convenor, Suzanne Manning. “It is built on the Māori concept of ‘Ako’, where the former learners then volunteer as teachers to support those who are new to Playcentre education.”

Playcentre has a philosophy of supporting emergent leadership, which has seen many volunteers gain new skills and the confidence to try new things, and develop new career directions. Along the way they also gained free education, empowerment, encouragement and support for life-long learning, and the satisfaction of seeing and supporting children learning and growing.

“Parenting is the most important job any person will do in their life” said Marion Pilkington. “Playcentre provides a community network, plus free parent education, to help parents do this job as well as they can. We put our resources into building families, who then move out and strengthen their communities.” And this is seen in the number of Playcentre people who go on to be on boards of trustees in schools, who continue work in other community organisations and who go on to do further training and education.

Playcentre is an organisation that provides high quality early childhood education for over 15,000 children and their parents. It acknowledges and supports parents as the first and most important educators of their children, and recognises that children reach their full potential when parents and whānau understand their development and take part in the learning process

ENDS

Contact for Media:
Marion Pilkington; NZPF President. 09 445 6472; 021 937 525.
Maureen Woodhams, NZPF. 04 934 5244, 027 4041223, media@playcentre.org.nz

To see a summary of the VAVA Report go to www.Playcentre.org.nz and look under the Research tab.

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