My two little boys and I attend Miramar Playcentre. Although I have found it hard work at times as a parent, it is fair to say that my two youngest have been in love with Playcentre since they joined at 16 months. Miramar Playcentre is one of a number of Playcentres that are part of the New Zealand wide Playcentre Federation.

Playcentre is an internationally recognised Early Childhood organisation unique to Aotearoa New Zealand. It began as a parent co-operative during the 1940s to support families and promote new developments in early childhood education.

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation formed as a national organisation in 1948 by providing parent education, equipment and facilities for quality parent led ECE.

For more than 50 years this voluntary organisation has met the changing needs of families and their communities. Today there are over 500 Playcentres affiliated to the New Zealand Playcentre Federation.

Through each of the 33 regional associations, Playcentre acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa and is committed to the principles of partnership in its policies and practices.

What does Playcentre do?

Playcentre is an early childhood education service, run as a parent co-operative, which commits to the following in order to ensure the quality of early childhood education in each session:

  • learning through play
  • birth to school age
  • mixed age sessions
  • family involvement

Because sessions are run as a co-operative, parents meet out of session to share experiences and information about the children, and meet the business needs of an early childhood centre. Decisions are usually made by consensus, to ensure all members feel heard and understood. Everyone is expected to take responsibility for something, depending on their capabilities and availability.

Playcentre’s philosophy is based on the ideas of child-initiated play and parents as first educators. It is a marvellous place for meeting other parents and finding support in your community.

Want more information? Then visit their site which provides detailed information about all the playcentres around New Zealand including where they are, when they operate, how to join. It also has details regarding the federation’s history, charter, and FAQs.

To find a Playcentre near you:

How much does it cost?

Playcentres are funded by the Ministry of Education and membership fees.

Each centre has its own membership policy. An average cost would be around $50 per term. Playcentre parent education is free of charge.


Mummy to three small boys

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