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Well Deserved Recognition for Advocate of Play

Media Release

New Zealand Playcentre Federation

5th January 2015

Well Deserved Recognition for Advocate of Play

The New Zealand Playcentre Federation congratulates Beverley Morris, QSO on her appointment as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to early childhood education. Beverley has been a passionate member of Playcentre since the early 1950’s, when she opened a Playcentre in Newtown, Wellington. She was responsible for the development of the original Playcentre Diploma and has continued to actively support Playcentre and it’s philosophy - the importance of family, lifelong learning and the inherent value of play in children’s learning.

Beverley has always been a strong advocate for the right of children to play, believing “Children don't play to learn, they learn while they play”. Playcentre provides both time and space for children to explore, play and learn supported by those that love and care for them. A prolific writer since childhood Beverley wrote a number of books and articles on the ways in which children learn through their everyday play, that are still relevant and used in early childhood centres today.

Beverley has continued to be active in the community throughout her life and her work has benefited many people throughout the country. Playcentre Co-Presidents Marion Pilkington and Viv Butcher acknowledged the huge contribution Beverley has made to Playcentre and the community, “Beverley has been a very important part of Playcentre’s history and continues to provide wise counsel to the organisation as we look to the future”. Playcentre was excited to celebrate Beverley’s 90th birthday with her and members of her family at our national meeting in October 2013.


Background Information:

Playcentre operates 471 early childhood education centres around the country for children aged from birth to school entry. In Playcentres, groups of parents collectively supervise and teach the children attending half-day sessions. Parents are offered free NZQA recognised training in child development, non-violent child management, communication, and administration skills for a community group. Parents often move on from Playcentre to become involved in many other areas of their communities.

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