Play and Learn has been operating since January 1995 when Jan Beatson opened the first Play and Learn centre from her home in Papatoetoe. Prior to this she had an extensive early childhood background including 15 years Playcentre, eight years’ operating a crèche, four years as a Family Daycare Coordinator, Kindergarten experience and 12 years in school management.
Ever since then we have been on a journey to provide the very best early childhood experiences for the children in our care. Our aim is to provide an holistic education with attitudes, skills and dispositions such as persistence, self-help, trying hard, thinking etc which help children for life - not only for when they start school .
We have always had a strong emphasis on physical fitness – our children climb hills, run fast, climb trees, go on long walks etc , this builds stamina which is really important for heart health and fitness levels which will last for years. Many of our children go on to represent their schools, their regions and even their country in various sports.
Our teachers have undergone extensive training and professional development and most have been with us for more than 10 years – some up to 19 years providing a very stable environment for our children and families. We keep up to date with all the latest research, trends and developments attending conferences both in New Zealand and around the world.
We have always been at the leading edge in early education – we were one of the first centres to use digital technology – cameras and computers, our child led programmes are now being adopted across the sector. Our community and outdoor programmes (which have been operating for 20 years) are now also beginning to be adopted by other centres.
We have always had excellent Education Review reports and are thought of highly by the Universities and training institutions.
On very limited funds we continue to provide excellent programmes, a solid foundation not only for school but for life.