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Playcentres give parents the support of their community

Media release New Zealand Playcentre Federation 1 June 2011

Playcentres give parents the support of their community for parenting

A government report released today emphasises the importance of parents getting support for parenting in their communities, which is just what Playcentres are set up to do.

The ECE Taskforce, headed by Michael Mintrom, launched its report in Wellington this afternoon. In it they recognise the long term investment of high quality early childhood education, and recommend a range of ways to increase the quality of services and access for all children and their parents to this community support.

The report notes: “Early childhood education programmes that have strong parental connections have been shown to be more effective than those that do not. Enabling effective parent support is therefore one of Government's strongest options for supporting child development, effective family functioning and good outcomes.”

“The best way to improve outcomes for children is to include the whole whānau” said Playcentre federation co-president Maureen Woodhams. “Parent-led centres do just that, by placing an equal emphasis on parent education alongside children's learning.”

Playcentres provide half-day educational sessions for children aged birth to school entry and their parents/whānau. As well as following the world-leading curriculum Te Whāriki, Playcentres also provide an NZQA-recognised parent education programme free of charge to all attending parents.

“We look forward to this government working with Playcentre so we can extend our proven parenting and early childhood programme more widely” said Ms Woodhams.

There are 489 Playcentres throughout New Zealand, organised into 33 regional associations for support and delivery of the Playcentre Diploma in Early Childhood and Adult Education. Playcentres receive Ministry of Education funding to cover some costs and operate largely through volunteer labour. For more information on Playcentre visit


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