Te Whariki

Ministry of Education NZ and Te Whariki for early childhood educators

The Ministry of Education NZ’s Te Whariki sets out the curriculum to be used in New Zealand early learning settings and provides guidance for its implementation. It links with the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMoA) so that children are better supported as they transition from one learning environment to another.

Te Whariki means ‘the woven mat’. Your child’s strengths and interests, all the things they learn from their family and through our early childhood education curriculum, are woven together into a learning programme for your child, contributing to your child’s unique learning story.

There are five learning strands which form the basis of our ECE curriculum:

  • Manaatua – Wellbeing
  • Manatangata – Contribution
  • Mana whenua – Belonging
  • Mana reo – Communication
  • Manaaoturoa – Exploration

These are interwoven with the 4 broad principles of Te Whariki:

Empowerment – children will be empowered to learn and grow.
Holistic Development – children learn and grow in a holistic way. Their intellectual, social, cultural, physical, emotional and spiritual learning is interwoven across all their experiences.
Family, Whanau and Community – a child’s family, whanau and community are recognised as part of the learning experience.
Relationships – children learn through positive relationships with people, places and things.

Learn more about Te Whariki principles from the Ministry of Education NZ