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Playcentre Awareness Week 14-20 March

Media Release -- New Zealand Playcentre Federation

2 March 2008

*Playcentre Awareness Week 14-20 March*

This month, Playcentres all round the country will open their doors to tell the country's parents about the benefits of hands-on community parenting, and what they can do to help care for the environment.

Playcentre Awareness Week is celebrated once every two years, and this year they are focusing on how young children and their families can help preserve the planet.

The theme is "/Small steps to effect change"/ -- the small steps that individuals, and even young children, can make, add up to a lot of benefit for the planet when all put together. Local centres are being encouraged to plan activities like composting food waste and collecting rubbish from beaches, while explaining to the children why we need to care for our environment.

At Ngaio Playcentre, in Wellington, the whole centre is reviewing the way they dispose of waste. The children are involved in a project to see what happens to rubbish when it's buried -- like at the rubbish dump. "We've buried two lots: organic and inorganic, and in the last week of term we'll dig it up and see if it's changed, maybe which has decomposed" said centre parent Naomi O'Connor. Meanwhile the adults are looking at their systems for recycling and washing down gear. "We are aiming to reduce the amount of waste we produce, and be sure we're not polluting our nearby stream."

At Waimauku Playcentre, in Rodney District, the centre is holding three open days during Playcentre Awareness Week, each with a different environmental theme. On Thursday 20^th March a past member is giving a demonstration on how to build a worm farm to compost food and organic waste. "By the end of the morning we should have our own, functional, worm farm for the centre," said centre parent Wendy Dunn. "Other community members are welcome to come along and learn how to make one as well."

Playcentre operates 498 early childhood education centres around the country for children aged from birth to school entry. Playcentres are run as parent cooperatives, where groups of parents collectively supervise and teach the children attending in half-day sessions. Parents are offered free NZQA recognised training in child development, positive discipline, communication, and management skills to help them in this.

For further information, or to find your local Playentre, visit


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