Playcentre Education

The Playcentre Diploma In Early Childhood and Adult Education has been designed specifically for parents in Playcentre. The diploma has been approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as a local course delivered by Playcentre for Playcentre members.

We believe that the whānau family, as the fundamental unit in the community, should be valued, promoted and supported as the most important setting for the nurturing and education of our children. Children have the opportunity to reach their full potential when parents understand their development and take part in their learning experiences. This programme has been designed for parents working alongside their children and learning through reflection on their experiences.

We believe that parents, with appropriate training and support, can expand their skills and make a positive, professional contribution to high quality early childhood education services. Content that aims to promote personal development and develop leadership skills for roles within the Playcentre movement and the community is included.

Course One - Introduction to Playcentre

In this course we introduce you to Playcentre and how you can begin to contribute to Playcentre sessions. You will discuss Playcentre philosophy and practices, the value of play for learning, with some introductory discussions on the adult role and how to provide positive behaviour guidance. There will be an initial discussion about the principles of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Your Playcentre experience will begin by encouraging you to make basic resources for play such as playdough or mixing paints, attending a centre meeting and attending at least 5 sessions. After being given a ‘tour’ of the centre you will be asked to read important centre policies and procedures. There are some short answer questions on Playcentre philosophy and practices, the links between these and the principles of Te Whāriki and how you can provide for and support children’s play.

Course Two -The Playcentre way

Course 2 you will extend your skills as an adult assisting on sessions. Discussion topics include play and creativity, an introduction to assessment and planning and what is required for Playcentre sessions.

You will discuss Playcentre’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and how cultural differences impact on our values and beliefs. Effective communication skills for use with adults and children is also covered and this will include a self-appraisal of your communication skills. An introduction to Te Reo Māori, along with a discussion of why we should try to pronounce the language correctly, is included.

You will gain further experience in providing play resources and participating in sessions providing for children’s learning and play. You will find your skills and knowledge extend in this area along with your understanding of how you are contributing to your children’s learning. You will also develop greater knowledge of the centre planning process and your contribution to this will be enhanced.

Course Three - Playcentre sessions

During study for Course 3 you will continue to develop the knowledge and skills required for the provision of good quality sessions in a parent co-operative. The first module covers the provision for play and how adults can support and extend children’s learning and development. There are discussions about strategies for managing children’s behaviour positively.

Further practice with the Māori language is provided in a workshop. In Course 3 you will extend your knowledge of your children’s development and what this means for you as a parent. The topic of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is revisited in more depth and some of the implications of it for Playcentre sessions are discussed. Finally you will participate further in the management of your centre by attending meetings, holding a centre position and leading emergency drills. Workshops on how to build and maintain effective teamwork within the Playcentre co-operative are also included.

Course Four - Playcentre practice

When enrolling in this course you will have spent a minimum of one year at Playcentre. In Course 4 you will further develop your understanding of how to provide good quality centre sessions. There are discussions of current learning theories and Te Whāriki.

A practical requirement promotes reflection on your work with children on sessions. There is an outline of how to identify when children have special needs and where to seek help. A course on racism and acts of racism relating to Te Tiriti o Waitangi along with the impacts on Māori development is included too. You will discuss the rights and responsibilities within a Te Tiriti partnership within Playcentre.

You will gain greater understanding of how centre practices and policies link to the ECE [Early Childhood Education 2008] regulations. You will also reflect on how you practice safe supervision. You will also plan and facilitate a learning event for adults, discuss common theories of how adults learn and extend leadership skills through holding an office. You will consider ethical dilemmas within Playcentre.

Course Five - Playcentre in context

In Course 5 you will be encouraged to extend your management skills and further develop your reflection on practice. You will learn more about different models of programme planning, lead the planning process in a playcentre, reflect on your personal philosophy and complete a further 40 sessions at a playcentre.

Discussions are held about how you can achieve effective partnerships with families/ whānau taking into account Te Tiriti o Waitangi, cultural differences and different parenting perspectives. You will examine the current position of Playcentre within early childhood services in New Zealand and compare three early childhood services to become better informed about their differences and the origins of these.

You will further develop your leadership through taking on an office and practising your facilitation skills. There is also an introducation to basic principles for assessment design and moderation.

Course Six - Playcentre Diploma

In Course 6 you will further develop your leadership and facilitation skills as well as professional skills and approaches for the care and education of children in a range of settings. Your discussions will examine aspects of Playcentre’s development, Playcentre philosophy today and different concepts and views of quality.

You will extend your knowledge of theories of play and learning, human development, different curriculum approaches and the transition from Playcentre to school. There is a section on the model for parent partnerships and review the effectiveness of this in Playcentre. There is the oppurtunity to enhance your leadership and facilitation reflecting on what this means for your work in Playcentre.

There is also a minimum session requirement for the whole diploma of 190 sessions which must be completed at a playcentre before you can be awarded the Playcentre Diploma in Early Childhood and Adult Education.

Student Handbook 2016