Lifelong learning a family affair
Tomorrow marks the beginning of 2014 Playcentre Awareness Week.
It's an important week for Marlborough's six playcentres, as we endeavour to highlight, and celebrate, the importance of what we provide for our preschool children through parent-led education.
This year's theme of Playcentre Awareness Week is Good Clean Fun, which highlights the enjoyment both parents and children can have when they learn and play together.
Water play, messy play, crafts or simple sand and shovels make for a world of exploration for playcentre kids, who learn under the watchful eyes of their mums, dads or caregivers who collectively supervise and participate in each half-day session.
I became part of Playcentre when I took on the role of co-ordinator for Marlborough Playcentre Association in October 2012.
At the time I was looking for a role that was people-focused and Playcentre certainly offers that.
It involves all members of the family and it is great to see adults and preschool children being empowered in their learning through playing and working together.
I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and I see that all around me with Playcentre, from the youngest baby to all the mums, dads and other carers.
It is great to acknowledge the important role that parents play as the first and best educators for their children. Parents are very well supported through the adult education programme that delivers high quality training, ensuring parents get the best support and learning for working with their own children as well as the other children at their centre.
I love seeing the happy faces when I visit Playcentres and the eagerness of the children to share their learning with me.
Parenting is learned, and having fun with your child is an important part of this learning. Playcentre encourages parents to set aside at least one morning per week just to play, which is so much easier when your child is surrounded by an array of toys, dress-up clothes, sandpit equipment, and paint and craft supplies that may not be available at home.
There are 483 Playcentres around New Zealand; Marlborough's centres are based in the Awatere, Blenheim, Linkwater, Picton, Renwick and Spring Creek. Though most of our sessions are held at our centres, we endeavour to explore our beautiful region with our children during field trips to beaches, parks, the aquarium and more.
Through this year's Playcentre Awareness Week we hope to raise the national profile of Playcentre in Marlborough, providing an opportunity for parents to make an informed choice about early childhood education.
It also provides an opportunity for individual Playcentres to celebrate their commitment to their children, and have fun.
Marlborough's Playcentres will be holding open days this week.
For information on Playcentre visit playcentre.org.nz, or drop into a centre near you.
The Marlborough Express