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Te Whāriki includes principles and strands which together describe a holistic curriculum.

Children learn a huge amount in the first years of their lives. Participating in quality early childhood education strengthens this early learning and lays a strong foundation for later success.

All early learning education services are required to deliver a curriculum that empowers young children to be confident and competent learners. The framework for this curriculum is set out in Te Whāriki.

Each services weaves a local curriculum (or whāriki) based on the principles, strands, goals and learning outcomes found in Te Whāriki. When deciding which areas to focus on, teachers take into account the interests, strengths and needs of the children and aspirations of parents, whānau and community.

Te Whāriki supports every child to be strong in his or her identity, language and culture.



The 4 broad principles of Te Whāriki are:

Empowerment  |  Whakamana

Empowers the child to learn and grow.

Holistic Development  |  Kotahitanga

Reflects the holistic way that children learn and grow.

Family and Community  |  Whānau Tangata

The wider world of family and community is an integral part of the early childhood curriculum.

Relationships  |  Ngā Hononga

Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things.


Te Whāriki’s four principles are interwoven with these learning areas:

Well being Mana Atua

The health and well being of the child are protected and nurtured.

Belonging Mana Whenua

Children and their families feel a sense of belonging.

Exploration Mana Aotūroa

The child learns through active exploration of the environment.

Contribution Mana Tangata

Opportunities for learning are equitable, and each child's contribution is valued.

Communication Mana Reo

The language and symbols of children's own and other cultures are promoted and protected.

Feel free to find out more about Te Whāriki with the information and resources on the Ministry of Education website

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