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Playcentre celebrates 60 years of early childhood education

Sep 4th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Above: 1965, St Andrew's Presbyterian Church donated their old hall to what is now Wallaceville Playcentre.

THE BEGINNING: In 1965, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church donated its old hall to what is now Wallaceville Playcentre


AT PLAY: From left, parents Ady Ward, Jenny George, Louise Tillett, Liz Page and children

FOR ITS 60-year anniversary, Wallaceville Playcentre is inviting all those who have helped keep it running throughout those years to a celebration.

Past and present members, and children, are invited to mark the milestone at the Playcentre on Sunday October 6 from 11am until 2pm.

There will be a special Playcentre session, a sausage sizzle and a birthday cake.

Parent educator Liz Page says Wallaceville Playcentre is run according to the philosophy that it takes a village to raise a child.

Playcentres are based on child-initiated play with the aims of parent support, parent education and early childhood education.

“We will be celebrating what Playcentre is, and all those who have contributed to its continuing success over the years,” says Ms Page.

Parent educator Ady Ward says the first Playcentre opened in 1941 in the Wellington suburb of Karori during the war, says.   “It began with mothers with husbands at war supporting one another by building a community where they could socialise and look after their children as a group.

“We are self-sufficient and not for profit. Each family helps out where they can, and all parents help to run sessions. We are all volunteers.”

Playcentre sessions for the Upper Hutt area were first held in Moonshine Road. The current Playcentre building was moved to its present Wallaceville site in 1989.


MAYORAL VISIT: Mayor of Upper Hutt Mr Kinsman at Moonshine Playcentre in 1968

Ms Ward says the anniversary will also celebrate the inclusivity of the Playcentre.

“I have five children, and I could bring all of my pre-schoolers to Playcentre together. They interact with children of different ages. There is no exclusion because everyone is catered for.”

Parent educator Jenny George says all her children have been through Wallaceville Playcentre.

“I originally came to Wallaceville Playcentre for my children, but then I stayed for myself. There’s such a great energy here and community feel. We’re like a big family.”

The Playcentre offers three free visits for families thinking about joining the Playcentre community. Wallaceville Playcentre, at 52 Ward Street, Wallaceville, Upper Hutt, is open 9.15am to 11.45am every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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For more information phone 528 8964 or email


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is is a Whitireia journalism student with a BA from Victoria University with English literature and media studies majors.
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