Playcentre needs more youngsters
It could be a case of use it or lose it for Katikati Playcentre, with numbers dwindling to just eight children and four families attending.
Playcentre mother Elizabeth Winter said it’s got to a stage of, “is anyone coming today.”
“A lot left last year as children grew up. We need more families — we don’t want to close.”
Playcentre used to have three sessions a week but is now down to two — Monday and Thursday from 9am to 12pm. The Tuesday session has closed.
“If we had more people we’d be able to open another session.”
Elizabeth started four years ago. Her son is now five and she has a daughter, Charlotte, two, who attends.
Playcentre President Megan Harvey has six children who are homeschooled. She is C2 certified and working on her C3 qualification.
The Playcentre philosophy is based on child-initiated play and recognises the parents as the first and best educators of their own children. Families receive a unique early childhood experience with opportunities for wha¯ nau/families to learn together. Sessions are run by parents.
Megan said at playcentre it’s child-led learning.
“We follow their lead and learn alongside them and watch them grow. Because I’m here I get to witness that.”
The Binnie Road Playcentre offers 16 various areas of indoor and outdoor play including playdough, painting, water play, books and puzzles, climbing frames, swings, dress-ups and a whopping sandpit. It also has a vege garden which the children planted.
Megan said they are trying to cater to different diets.
“Our family is vegan — when we share kai we share a variety of foods.”
On teacher-only days families are welcome to bring older siblings to Playcentre. She said the kids get excited about the older ones coming.
Mum of three Amber Chapman said playcentre offers parents free learning at workshops. She went to a firemaker’s workshop and learnt about making damper and building a fire at the base of a volcano.
“We learnt what questions to ask to get children thinking and on the safety side.”
Amber is keen to continue studying to become a early childcare teacher.
Playcentre offers childcare for children while parents attend workshops or they will pay for a babysitter.
Playcentre parents will be at Countdown in Katikati on December 5, 6 and 7 to fundraise for sand pit toys, paint and glue. The committee recently spent money on building a big garden for the children. Some fundraising will go to pay back the cost of starting the garden.
Two-year-old Charlotte Death-Winter having fun with water. Children of all ages love the big sandpit at Katikati Playcentre.