There are two iconic NZ early childhood organisations that continue to hold onto their original purpose and philosophy, these are Playcentre Aotearoa and Nga Kōhanga Reo.
Te Whānau Tupu Ngātahi o Aotearoa – Playcentre started in 1941. It is a licenced provider of early childhood education. It involves parents in their children’s children, and provides parent learning and early childhood teacher training, parent education, support and friendship opportunities. It makes a difference not only to children, but to families and to family social capital.
In 2019 a major restructure was undertaken with 31 regional Playcentre Associations and all Playcentres merging into one organisation. The challenge is to maintain local ownership and participation or Playcentres will lose their identity and become like any education and care centres. This is a risk, as has been documented with a similar voluntary parent-led organisation in England.