Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Parents welcome at Playcentre Open Week

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Playcentre Open Week runs from March 4-8. File photo

Playcentres across New Zealand are inviting families with children from birth to school age for a free visit during Playcentre Open Week, which runs from March 4-8.

The theme for Playcentre Open Week this year is “Whānau tupu ngātahi – families growing together”. Several playcentres in east Auckland are included.

“Each local Playcentre provides a place for whānau and their tamariki to play, learn and grow together, while making connections with other whānau in their community,” says Playcentre Aotearoa chief executive David Moger.

Playcentre is an early childhood education service with a difference.

It is the largest parent-led provider of early childhood education in Aotearoa.

“At playcentre we foster the involvement of parents and whānau in early childhood education through play-based learning because we value parents as the first and best educators for their tamariki, says Moger.

Playcentre also offers a free NZQA accredited adult education programme to develop parenting skills and understanding of how tamariki learn and develop.

Rebekah Marcetic, team leader at Howick Playcentre, says open week is a great opportunity to come get a taste of what Playcentre has to offer for the whole family.

“Playcentre is a fun place for children to learn through play, and get messy with other tamariki.

“We also hope Open Week encourages some curious parents and caregivers through the door who will get to feel the warm playcentre welcome, and experience how the adults also really benefit from coming to sessions, making connections with each other, and developing a sense of belonging.

“We’re really lucky to have lots of playcentres in east Auckland, so hopefully everyone can come along for a visit and find a village for them.”

Charlotte Gray, parent at Bucklands Beach Ohui-a-Rangi Playcentre, has Arthur (4) and Matthew (20 months) attending.

“Playcentre has been a really special place for me to play alongside my sons. I get to see them experience milestones and learn new skills,” she says.

“And I’m alongside other mums and dads who just get all the feelings and need for support that comes with parenting.

“I can come in after a sleepless night and have a big hug and be handed a hot cup of coffee.

“I have also been able to learn more about my tamariki and how they learn through the free education courses.

“It’s also helped me support other new parents and their tamariki as they walk through our doors.

“You wouldn’t believe the great chats you can have with three-year-olds on all subjects from road building to fluid dynamics and gravity when pouring water into a sandpit. Playcentre is unique to New Zealand and such a taonga.”

During Playcentre Open Week whānau are invited to come along for a free visit and support their tamariki to learn through play, whilst meeting other whānau in their local community.

From sand and water play, arts and music, outdoor and messy play to working with wood or clay, there will be a range of resources and experiences on offer.

Playcentre is a nationwide charity with more than 400 centres throughout the country.

Find your local Playcentre at www.playcentre.org.nz.

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