What Playcentre offers parents

Playcentre offers support to parents and caregivers at a time in their lives that can be amazingly wonderful and incredibly stressful.  Parenting and caring for pēpē and tamariki is a big job, and from Playcentre’s aim from its beginning has been to bring parents and whānau together to support and awhi adults as parents and kaiako (educators).   

Support is both informal and formal – from the manaakitanga of being welcomed with a hot cuppa while someone else holds your pēpē to seeing how other adults interact with tamariki to listening to the more experienced kaiako speak with children to conversations with other parents about children’s learning, to more structured workshops on specific topics (eg “How do I support this energetic and boisterous child of mine while retaining my sanity?!”) 

For parents of babies, check out our Infant Programmes here – these are a chance for parent and pēpē to learn alongside each other with parents of similar aged babies. 

At Playcentre, ako sits at the heart of our practice.  Ako is the concept that learning and teaching go hand in hand.  Playcentre’s Māori name is “Whānau Tupu Ngātahi” – families growing together – and this describes the support Playcentre gives to parents and caregivers as they care for the tamariki in their lives. 

Education for adults too….

Because our learning journey is never over, we encourage parents to take part in the excellent educational opportunities available through Playcentre.

Our NZQA programme provided for adults within Playcentre supports the informal learning taking place in a centre, leading to an expansion in parenting and early childhood education skills for anyone keen to learn.

“My children have a whole village of like-minded parents who know their every like and dislike as if they were their own children, and I have beautiful friends who are like sisters and taught me how to be a mum! I am forever grateful for my village.” 


“I met a much wider range of people through Playcentre than any other aspect of my life. I made some good friends, and even those who remained passing acquaintances I learned from. Playcentre created empathy and understanding for people from all walks of life. It is a real taonga.”


“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.”


It’s a community of support, friendship and learning for children and adults. Great lasting memories are made and sets children up for the playbased collaborative learning schools that are becoming more integrated in all our communities. But mostly it’s fun and messy!