Playcentre is a whānau-centred early childhood education service. You get to play alongside children, encouraging them to interact with others while you meet other parents and educators.
This unique opportunity sets Playcentre apart from kindergarten, childcare, preschool and daycare options. Playcentre creates a sense of belonging as families share responsibilities and decision making. Parents are the first educators of children, and Playcentres around New Zealand foster the involvement of whānau through early childhood education.
The curiosity and creativity of our tamariki is nurtured in a way that allows them to learn about themselves and their world.
Each centre has quality play environments with over 16 areas of play. Your child will be given a chance to explore, create, climb, read, sing, experiment, play music, wear costumes, have their face painted (or do it themselves!), garden, do carpentry with real tools, bake and cook, build sandcastles, swing, slide, dance, spend time in nature and get messy.
The activities change every day and the high adult to child ratio means there are a wide range of options. Playcentre parents all bring different skills, interests, and cultural backgrounds to add to the rich learning environment.
We welcome families with children aged 0 – 6 years. Mixed age play allows your children to engage with others older and younger than themselves. Pre-schoolers learn how to communicate, share and negotiate with empathy for their younger peers.
Parents are valued as the first and most important teachers in their children’s lives and are supported in their role as teachers. Parents learn to support their own and other children’s learning through play, participating in discussions with others and working alongside more experienced peers. Playcentre also offers a free education NZQA Education Programme to develop your parenting skills.
Each Playcentre will have the appropriate number of adults with the required qualifications to run a licensed day.
Some centres have the opportunity for you to drop your children off on particular days when your child reaches a certain age and is confident to do so.
Playcentre offers many opportunities to parents, most importantly a village for your whānau and support. We offer a free education programme to develop parenting skills and understand how children learn and develop.
Playcentre also offers parents opportunities to take on roles and responsibilities and gain new transferable skills for work.
Mums, dads, and all whānau including grandparents, aunties and uncles, and other caregivers are welcome to attend Playcentre with the children.
This means our children develop supportive relationships with a range of adults, and it also adds to the rich array of experiences available as different adults bring new things to the play table!
Definitely. To work with people’s busy lives and the different demands placed on them, Playcentres are open on different days of the week. You can work and attend Playcentre on the day/s of the week that suit you and your family.
Some parents combine Playcentre with other early childhood education options, such as kindergarten or day-care, keen to take up the Playcentre option of getting involved and playing with their kids on the days that they aren’t working.
Playcentre is an excellent way to meet new families and learn about the New Zealand culture. It will give you a friendly place to go, supportive people to meet and new things to do.
For children who do not speak English as their first language, it is a safe place to play and learn while knowing that you are there when needed.
Every centre has its own culture and is unique. If you do not feel it is a good fit for you at one centre, then visit another. Every centre offer 3 free visits before membership.
We encourage you to visit several centres in your local area to find one that suits you and your whanau.
Really great quality education for your little ones. And a supportive network for your whānau that is so much greater than you can anticipate at the beginning.
It’s great fun for the kids and great social time for parents. So many learning opportunities for child and parent, mum or dad or grandparent can go.