Playcentre Aotearoa recently announced that ‘Space at Playcentre’ infant programmes have been launched in Canterbury especially for whānau with babies aged 0-6 months.

The existing Babies Can Play programme run by Playcentre in Canterbury will continue and from next year, will be specifically focused on whānau with babies aged 6 months to 2 years old.

Whānau and their pre-school tamariki are still welcome to join mixed-age Playcentre sessions at any age.

Playcentre Aotearoa, in partnership with Parenting Place, already operates Space at Playcentre infant programmes in over 200 Playcentres throughout Aotearoa.

Playcentre Aotearoa Chief Executive David Moger said, “We’ve had a relationship with Parenting Place for several years, so this opportunity for the two organisations to work in partnership to meet the needs of young families in Canterbury is very exciting.”

According to their Annual Report 2021, Playcentre Aotearoa ran 243 infant programmes, with 3,515 babies (generally aged between 2-18 months) enrolled in their Space and Babies Can Play sessions, an increase of 21% over the previous year.

“Our Space at Playcentre and Babies Can Play infant programmes are very popular. The increase in demand for these programmes across Aotearoa demonstrates the value and importance of these programmes in our communities,” says Moger.

Parenting Place is a charitable organisation that supports parents across Aotearoa to build strong whānau relationships.

Parenting Place Chief Executive Dave Atkinson said: “Raising a child is the most important thing we will ever do – and one of the most challenging. Add to that mix the challenges many families are facing in 2022 and we are thrilled to work with Playcentre to support whānau raising pēpi in Canterbury.”

Playcentre Aotearoa is a nationwide charity with over 400 early childhood education centres operating across Aotearoa.