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Playcentre at Parliament

For Release 19 March 2008


Playcentre at Parliament

Paint, playdough and collage are just a few of the “16 areas of play” on offer to MP’s at Parliament today, with MP’s invited to join Newtown Playcentre for a special Wednesday session in Parliament’s Grand Hall.

The event has been organised as part of Playcentre Awareness Week and this year’s celebrations of 60 years of Playcentre in New Zealand. “We’re pleased to be able to offer MP’s a chance to participate in a real Playcentre session, said Rebecca Miller, Newtown Playcentre President. “We’re also honoured that NZ Playcentre Federation President Marion Pilkington can be with us.”

“Whilst many MP’s themselves are Playcentre children or Playcentre parents, there are some who haven’t got that background. This is a chance for them to see for themselves the magic of Playcentre, where parents learn how to extend their children’s play, and therefore their learning, whilst learning from, and supporting each other,” said Rebecca Miller. Families from other Playcentres will join Newtown for the event.

“Playcentre is a real kiwi institution – over the past 60 or so years – and longer in Wellington – Playcentres have educated tens of thousands of kiwi kids and their parents, and provided invaluable community support and friendship to young families at the same time,” said Kate Whitwell, Co-President of Wellington Playcentre Association.

“Playcentre is envied internationally for this unique combination of high quality early learning, parent education and family support,” said Kate Whitwell. “Early pioneers of Playcentre, such as Gwen Somerset who first documented Playcentre’s ’16 areas of play’ and identified the links between these different types of play and child development, head up a parade of former Playcentre parents who have gone on to become internationally recognised leaders in the field of early childhood education,” said Kate Whitwell.

“We are lucky in New Zealand to have Playcentre and we will be urging all the MP’s who come along to ensure that successive Governments continue to recognise and value the huge contribution Playcentre makes to New Zealand families and communities – so that we can continue playing this valuable role for our next 60 years,” said Kate Whitwell.

Playcentres cater for children from birth to school entry. Sessions are run by trained parent teams. To facilitate this, parents are offered free NZQA approved training in child development, positive discipline, communication, and management skills. For information about the Playcentre nearest you, visit www.Playcentre.org.nz, or call 0800 Playcentre.

ends


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