Pedal power for playcentre week

Baking, picnics and bike rides are among the Playcentre Awareness Week activities Taranaki centres have organised to celebrate the biennial event.

The week runs until this Saturday and its aim is to promote the value of parent-led early education and community involvement.

Yesterday, a group of children from Waitara Playcentre gathered at New Plymouth's East End Beach on brightly decorated bicycles for a pedal down the Coastal Walkway before they had a picnic lunch at Puke Ariki Landing.

Jo Moore, of Waitara, said playcentres offered parents a "different opportunity for educating their children in [their] early years".

"It allows parents to be first teachers," Ms Moore said.

Grandparent Keitha Sharpe, of Bell Block, said being involved with playcentre meant children were being looked after by their own family rather than by teachers.

Okato Playcentre "balloon bombed" the town's main street with green, purple and yellow balloons and streamers and will also be delivering homemade baking to the community tomorrow.

Over in Toko, a bridge walk turned into an opportunity to collect rubbish found along the way.

Hawera held a family fun day on Sunday at King Edward Park to coincide with Children's Day.

Visitors who missed Hawera's event can join Waverley for its family day this Saturday at 10am.

Playcentre Federation co-president Marion Pilkington said the centre provided both a community network and free parent education to equip parents.

"We put our resources into building families, who then move out and strengthen their communities," Ms Pilkington said.

Taranaki Daily News