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NZ Playcentre Publications

Orders can now be placed through the Ako Books website www.akobooks.co.nz. For more details about Playcentre Publications and Ako Books, please see information below.

For many years Playcentre Publications was the only publishing house in New Zealand dedicated to early childhood education. While the Playcentre movement began producing books in 1945, it wasn’t until 1974 that the first book was produced by the newly centralised Playcentre Publications committee – Lex Grey’s 'Learning Through Play' (1974). The aim from the outset was to get high quality books into the hands of Playcentre parents at reasonable cost.


Initially set up solely to service the ECE training requirements of Playcentre members, and run by an ever-changing committee of Playcentre volunteers, in recent years increasing numbers of Playcentre Publications have been incorporated as standard texts by New Zealand Colleges of Education. In 2012 Playcentre Publications Ltd. separated from its parent organisation to become an independent social enterprise publishing company under the direction of a newly appointed Board of Directors. As a Playcentre Federation Social Enterprise company the long term goal of Playcentre Publications Ltd. is to create a viable long-term independent income stream for its parent, the New Zealand Playcentre Federation.


In 2013 Playcentre Publications Ltd. created a new brand – Ako Books. The concept of ako describes a teaching & learning relationship, where the educator is also learning from the student and where educators’ practices are informed by the latest research and are both deliberate and reflective. Ako is grounded in the principle of reciprocity and also recognises that the learner and whaanau can't be separated. (Ministry of Education definition). At Ako Books we believe that the concept of ako captures our mission and our ethos. It is our goal to be widely recognised as a trusted partner and supplier of quality educational resources for parents, whaanau and educators.


Looking back through the publications, we can see not only the evolution (and consistency) of Playcentre ideas, we can also see the changes in technology over time. Playcentre Publications has during the last 40 years been unique in consistently providing books of value to all early childhood educators.

Orders can be place through the Ako Books website www.akobooks.co.nz. Playcentres can now set up an account and order directly from the website, please contact us for more information or go to the “Retailer or ECE Centre” button on the home page of the Ako Books website and follow the instructions.



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