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

20 Hours Free Comes to Playcentre
19th Jun 2010
link : www.Playcentre.org.nz
Playcentre is expecting 20 Hours ECE to boost the number of preschoolers coming through its doors. Playcentre offers Early Childhood Education programmes to birth to six-year-olds.

From 1 July 2010, the 20 Hours ECE programme has been extended to include nearly 500 Playcentres nationwide. Once they turn three, the over 16,000 children currently attending Playcentre will qualify for up to 20-hours-a-week free early childhood education.

New Zealand Playcentre Federation President Maureen Woodhams welcomes the change in policy.

“It’s both an acknowledgement that Playcentre provides high quality early childhood education, and a positive reflection on the philosophy of child-initiated learning that underpins all of our programmes.

“We’re glad to see policy catching up. It levels the playing field so parents are able to choose an early childhood service that suits their needs without the potential barrier of cost.”

Mrs Woodhams believes that offering 20 Hours ECE is going to help Playcentre children get the best out of their early childhood education.

“The additional funding is expected to help free up parents to focus on educating our tamariki, rather than on administration and centre management,” she says.

“If 20 Hours ECE enables children to attend more sessions a week then they’re building more consistent relationships with adults and other kids. This means they are able to get more out of their time with us.”

Playcentre not only educates preschoolers, but also has an extensive New Zealand Qualification Authority-approved free adult education programme. Central to the Playcentre philosophy is the understanding that parents/whānau are the first and best teachers of their children. Therefore all sessions are run by groups of trained parents/whānau at a 1:5 or higher adult: child ratio. Training covers supervising sessions, understanding child development and learning, and centre management.

Parents often find that not only does Playcentre facilitate friendships; provide a community-based support network; and educate them and their children; it also allows them to learn new skills in a supportive environment that transfer outside Playcentre. Many of the people in our communities on school boards, at Toy Libraries, coaching sports teams and many other essential community positions are Playcentre or ex-Playcentre people.

The Playcentre concept began in Karori as a family co-operative over 60 years ago. It is now a nationwide licensed early childhood education organisation. The concept has been exported to Japan, which now has nine Playcentres mostly in and around Tokyo.

For more information: www.Playcentre.org.nz

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