New Zealand Playcentre Federation Website

Mission Statement

Quality Early Childhood Education: a co-operative family/whanau       experience.

Nature of

Playcentre acknowledges and supports parents as the first and most important educators of their children.

Playcentre acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa, New Zealand.


  • A family concept which recognises that children reach their full potential when parents and whanau understand their development and take part in the learning process.
  • Sessions are co-operatively managed and supervised by parents/caregivers with support from experienced Association personnel.  (Group Supervision).
  • All children have the right to safe and stimulating play in a nurturing environment.
  • Parents/caregivers are offered an accessible, flexible, field-based education programme at minimal cost.
  • Our 11,031 families are all voluntary workers supported by a small number of paid staff.

Description of Services

  • Thirty three Playcentre Associations servicing 519 Playcentres throughout New Zealand reflecting and supporting their communities. (487 Playcentres are licensed, chartered Early Childhood Centres, 32 Playcentres are license exempt and funded through ECD)
  • Quality Early Childhood service for 15,507 children with their parents/whanau.
  • Half-day sessions for mixed age groups of children.
  • High adult:child ratios. (1:5 – 1:3)
  • Observation based evaluation and planning of sessions
  • Predominant providers of Early Childhood Service in rural and remote areas of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
  • Parent – Adult Education and support with an NZQA accredited qualification in Early Childhood and adult education designed for our parent co-operative movement.
  • Liaison support for Playcentres and their members.
  • Publishers of play, parenting and leadership books.
  • The Playcentre Journal keeps members informed, educated and gives a sense of belonging across the country with relevant topics and issues.


  • Playcentres have elected committees of member parents overseeing their operations and management.
  • Associations have elected committees from their member Playcentres to provide leadership, management and support for their centres.
  • The New Zealand Playcentre Federation has an elected group of committees providing a national focus with national support to Associations. The Federation is registered as a Society incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act


New Zealand Playcentre Federation
PO Box 1069
Papakura, Auckland
Phone 09 236 3591
Fax 09 236 3591