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It takes a village to raise our children

New Zealand Playcentre Federation regional manager Dalene Mactier talks about strategies Playcentre has in place to ensure children grow up happy and healthy.

Does your Playcentre have a strategy for wellbeing for children?

The core Playcentre philosophy is built around wellbeing for tamariki and their whānau. As a whānau-led organisation we believe in the value of creating a village to raise our children. To support children’s well-being, we also support the well-being of their whānau.

Why is Playcentre parent-run?

Parents are the first educators of children, and Playcentres around New Zealand foster the involvement of whānau through early childhood education. This gives parents the opportunity to play alongside them, encourage them to interact with others while you meet other parents and educators. The high adult ratio allows us to provide a child-centred programme based on the individual child’s fascinations, strengths, wellbeing and interests.

The focus on child-led learning means that each day Playcentres offer a variety of learning and play experiences and the whole whānau can be involved with your child’s learning; playing with them and alongside them. We come to appreciate our tamariki for the wonderfully competent and capable learners that they already are and learn how we can continue to help them to flourish.

What is the benefit of having young people learning alongside their Whānau?

Our children develop supportive relationships with a range of adults adding to the array of experiences available as Playcentre parents all bring different skills, interests, and cultural backgrounds to add to the rich learning environment. Playcentre caters to children aged 0 – 6 years. Mixed age play allows children to engage with others older and younger than themselves. Pre-schoolers learn how to communicate, share and negotiate with empathy for their younger peers. As a family, and as a community, you’ll build your own village with Playcentre: making life-long friends along the way.

How important is healthy eating to a child’s wellbeing?

Healthy eating is important, and it is part of the holistic approach to young children’s well-being. Playcentre encourages healthy eating practices and preparing and sharing healthy food is part of our children’s learning experiences.

Tell us about your Under-2s programme.

At Babies Can Play we create the time and space for parents to meet other like-minded parents and have the opportunity to build life-long friendships. Parents can slow down and delight in watching their baby play and interact with other babies as well as enjoy the opportunity to share and explore parenting ideas with other parents.

To find out more about Playcentre visit the website.


24 April 2019