Update 21 April 2020

Tēnā koutou katoa

I’m sure many of us welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the Government that the country is moving to Alert Level 3 at midnight next Monday.

However, for us at Playcentre, Level 3 does not bring an opening of our Centres.  The Ministry has stated quite clearly that we are not permitted to open – the rationale being that because a number of parents are required to be present, a lot of isolation bubbles will intersect.  The good news is that we will continue to be funded as if they were open. I am having frequent meetings via Zoom with the Ministry of Education and will pass on all relevant details.  One thing we are looking at very closely during Level 3 is what will be possible for us in the time leading up to our Centres opening, and that is something we are working on now, and which I hope to share with you at the appropriate time. In the meantime, the only person accessing your Playcentre should be your appointed liaison person.

It is with a sense of regret that I am sharing the news that our Service Delivery Manager, Veronica Pitt, has resigned.

Veronica has been a dedicated and committed member of the Playcentre family for many years, and her contribution has been significant.

She joined Playcentre in 2004 as the parent of Sam and soon became a parent representative on the Canterbury Association’s board of management. When Sam went to school in 2007, some of those who had come to appreciate Veronica’s skills convinced her to put her name forward for Playcentre’s standing committee, becoming the Treasurer of the Trustee Board of the Playcentre Federation.

A 2010 Playcentre Journal notes the financial clarity that Veronica brought to national meetings.  She remained in the role until 2013, also during that time, serving as President of the Central Districts Playcentre Association.

That same Journal story describes Veronica as a “subtle, natural treasure – always there, quietly getting on with the job”.

In 2014, Veronica was appointed as our Operations Manager with day-to-day management of supporting 32 regional Associations and 450 Playcentres. Her most recent role since 2017 has been as our Service Delivery Manager responsible for the management of Regional Managers around the country.


Veronica recently shared the following whakataukī at our management meeting:

Ma te rongo, ka mohi
Ma te mohio, ka marama
Ma te marama, ka matau
Ma te Matau, ka ora.

Through listening, comes awareness
Through awareness, comes understanding
Through understanding comes knowledge
Through knowledge, comes life and well-being.


Veronica told us the whakataukī resonated with her as it was a message that was particularly relevant to a grass roots organisation, where it was important that a good understanding and knowledge of our foundations would help lead to good decisions.  

Veronica says she’s enjoyed her time as our Service Delivery Manager and the varied experiences and challenges it has brought.

I certainly have been most grateful for Veronica’s pragmatic approach to the job and being able to tap into her huge reservoirs of knowledge of all things Playcentre.

We will miss her and we wish her all the very best in her new role as executive director of the New Zealand Psychological Society.

Her last day with us will be on May 8.


It is great to hear that many staff and our whānau are making great use of their bubble life not just to stay connected with Playcentre but also to keep learning at home.

Our new programme  Māpuna te Tamaiti: Nurturing Kind and Caring Children is based on the new Ministry of Education resource on supporting emotional and social competency in early learning.  This is a backbone of what we do at Playcentre and a useful topic for every parent and kaiako.  The online programme is approximately 15 hours of learning that you can do in your own time.  There are two paced groups – eager groups who complete the mahi in 2.5 weeks (approx. 6 hours per week), and leisurely groups over 5 weeks (approx. 3 hours per week).

PLD is provided for your own interest and learning.  There are no qualifications or credit attached it, just the joy of learning something new and having in-depth kōrero with other parents and educators.  There are separate streams for centre whānau and employed Playcentre staff.  To date we have had 180 people finish or currently participating, and we’ve tweaked a few things along the way to better cater for participants.  We’re now ready to open for registrations across Aotearoa. 

What else is coming soon?  With all centres currently closed, PLD facilitators are exploring other ways of bringing our learning-focused centre and leadership programmes to you in an online format.  With the exception of the He Māpuna te Tamaiti programme, other online PLD will be offered regionally.  Keep an eye out for centre emails from your regional PLD facilitators over the coming weeks about what options are headed your way this term. 

If you have any queries or suggestions, please contact Kara Daly, PLD Director, at k.d[email protected]

We have had several reports of an issue with Microsoft Outlook within Office365 affecting some of our staff and Centre email accounts. Other organisations are affected also so it’s widespread. There’s an IT person investigating further.


Ka kite anō au i a koutou.

Sean McKinley