Playcentre is a parent-cooperative early childhood education organisation. Because Playcentre is for families, by families, the support crew comes from inside the Playcentre community.
Playcentre creates a sense of belonging as families share responsibilities and decision making. Playcentre offers parents opportunities to take on roles and responsibilities and gain new transferable skills for work. To ensure that things run smoothly, each centre has a number of officeholder roles. Related tasks are linked together and a person or team are given responsibility for them for a set period. Each centre is supported by a regional office and National staff.
Whānau work cooperatively to manage the centre. This contribution looks different for all of us. We all contribute in our unique ways how we can and when we can. Many hands make light work and we know that we do not all have the same time and energy all the time.
Playcentre is about paying it forward. At first you might sit back while you learn how Playcentre works, and eventually you will become more involved. That is the moment when you start paying it forward. Although you might reap some benefits from your own labour, it’s mostly the people coming behind you who will benefit.
The future of Playcentre relies on the willingness of people to pay it forward. Paying it forward in Playcentre is about making a difference for families yet to become families.
“Playcentre changed my whole outlook on motherhood. It has been crucial in maintaining my mental health. It gave me a sense of accomplishment of belonging and feeling like my ‘work’ means something”.