Everything you ever wanted to know about Playcentre

  • You can stay and play at Playcentre
    Playcentre is a whānau-centred early childhood education service. Its key difference is that it is managed by families for families. At Playcentre you will find families playing and learning together. Parents are valued as the first and most important teachers in their children's lives and supported in their role on session as teachers.
  • Registered ECE service
    As a registered early childhood education (ECE) parent-led service, Playcentre meets the same requirements as other ECE services in New Zealand. We follow the New Zealand ECE curriculum, Te Whāriki, in our play-based programmes.
  • Learning at Playcentre
    The Playcentre curriculum is based on current research about how young children learn best. Our Playcentres have a rich play-based learning environment where your child will gain confidence, make new friends and learn new skills and knowledge.
  • Birth to school
    Playcentre will grow with your family. You will have the option of attending a Babies Can Play session or a regular session with your baby. Once they get a little older and more interested in exploring their worlds, they will love the freedom of regular sessions. The older your child/ren get/s, the more they will want to come to Playcentre, and so will benefit from attending more sessions.
  • Free play learning environment
    Playcentre offers a free play environments. It means children can choose what they want to do, how they want to do it and when to stop and try something else. Children set their own goals and work at achieving these. The adults provide the time and space for children to play and learn. The adults inspire new learning by getting involved, talking with the children and by responding to their children's interests. Click to read more.
  • Of course!
    Dads are awesome and welcome at Playcentre. Children love having dads on session as they bring unique skills, knowledge and a new kind of energy to sessions! Everyone is welcome at Playcentre and, in addition to dads, we often have grandparents, aunties and uncles, and other caregivers on session. 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!
  • A friendly welcome, and so much more!
    Well, firstly, a friendly welcome and a chance to chat. Playcentre offers many opportunities to parents. Parents are valued as their children's first and most influential teachers, and helps parents in this role through providing a network of support and learning opportunities. Playcentre offers parents and children an opportunity to make new friends. Often friendships started at Playcentre last a lifetime. Click to read more.
  • Paying it forward
    The workload depends on you. Everyone does what they can, when they can. The minimum requirement is that all parents are part of the centre's teaching team, working together to provide interesting and inviting programmes for tamariki. At first you might sit back and watch everyone being busy doing 'Playcentre things' and eventually you will find yourself playing more and generally getting busier (having fun) on session! Playcentre values whatever contribution people have to make.
  • Distributed leadership
    At Playcentre you will find many leaders, but not one boss. It is a parent-cooperative organisation and as such we all work together to get things done. Often sessions are run with the support of a coordinator. But all the parents contribute towards the play opportunities on a particular session and to the running of the centre generally.
  • Learning together
    At Playcentre we're all teachers and learners. Every session will have a number of adults with the required qualifications to have a licensed session. All parents have a turn to be part of the teaching team. Parents learn to support their own and other children's learning through play through participating in discussions with others and working alongside more experienced peers. Click to read more.
  • Independent sessions
    Children are able to stay independently when they feel confident to do so. For most children this happens around the age of 2-3 years old. Before that age, parents can arrange with other parents to care for their child on session.
  • Making Playcentre work
    Playcentre can work well for families where one parent works part time, as there is some flexibility in terms of sessions on different days - to work in with people's busy lives and the different demands placed on them. Some parents combine Playcentre with other early childhood education options, such as kindergarten, keen to take up the Playcentre option (opportunity) of getting involved and playing with their kids!
  • We love grandparents at Playcentre
    Grandparents bring a unique set of wisdom and knowledge to Playcentre and everyone benefits from their presence. Multiple generations on session adds to the richness of Playcentre life.
  • Playcentre is a great start
    Playcentre is an excellent way to meet new families and learn about the New Zealand culture. It will give you and your child/ren a place to go, supportive people to meet - who will be able to help you - 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. If English is not your first language, Playcentre provides a supportive and safe space to practise and grow your confidence.
  • Another centre might suit
    Every centre has its own culture. If you do not feel comfortable at one centre visit another. For some people Playcentre is love at first sight and for others it is more of an acquired taste. Either way it will change your life.
  • Playcentre fees
    Playcentre is a very affordable early childhood education option. Every Playcentre sets its own fees - but always aims to make this workable for members.
  • Life long learning at Playcentre
    We're all learning at Playcentre. The courses are a great opportunity to strengthen your knowledge and build your confidence, and best of all they're free. These courses are optional.