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Play School

Play School was originally a long-running British educational television program for pre-school aged children, produced by the BBC from 1964. It originally appeared on weekdays at 11 AM on the fledgling BBC TWO and later acquired an early-evening BBC ONE repeat.

more information required on dates and presenters of BBC version

An Australian version, also called Play School, is still being produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for Australian and international distribution. It is notable because it is the longest-running program on Australian television, and second only to the American educational program Sesame Street in terms of influence on Australian children. The first episodes aired in 1966. Two episodes screen every day, at 9am and 3pm.

From the inception of the program, the producers of Play School have made efforts to promote equality, playful education, and a love of learning in its audience. Working on Play School has come to be considered an unusually demanding and important job for some talented actors, because they feel they are becoming part of a generation of children's lives and providing a foundation for learning that will last for life. Long-running Play School presenters have included Noni Hazlehurst, Benita Collings, Alister Smart and John Hamblin.

Play School's stated philosophy is to encourage a child 'to wonder, to think, to feel and to imagine'. The two presenters (always a male/female pairing) address the child directly and personally, so that every child watching the show feels that they are spending time with two people they know and can trust. Into this relationship are woven the stories, songs and activities that form the fabric of Australian children's culture.

Play School is successful because it satisfies our basic human need to interact with other people and to be valued by them.