Te Whāriki

Te Whāriki is the Ministry of Education's early childhood curriculum policy statement.

It is a framework for providing tamariki (children's) early learning and development within a sociocultural context.

It emphasises the learning partnership between kaiako (teachers), parents, and whānau/families. Kaiako (teachers) weave an holistic curriculum in response to tamariki (children's) learning and development in the early childhood setting and the wider context of the child's world.

Licensing Criteria Cover

Part A: The Principles, Strands, and Goals for the Early Childhood Curriculum

  • The Principles
    • The Principles

      Woven mat visualising the connectedness of Te Whāriki principles and strands.

      There are four broad principles at the centre of the early childhood curriculum.


      The early childhood curriculum empowers the child to learn and grow.

      Holistic Development

      The early childhood curriculum reflects the holistic way children learn and grow.

      Family and Community

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


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

      Ngā Kaupapa Whakahaere

      E whā ngā kaupapa whakahaere kua whakatauria hei kawe i tēnei tikanga i roto i ngā kōhanga reo. Ko te mahi a ēnei kaupapa he whakatakoto huarahi mō ngā taumata whakahirahira me ngā tūmanako mō ngā mokopuna. I tua atu i tēnā ko te ārahi i ngā mahi ako, ā, ko te āwhina hoki i ngā mahi tātari.

      Ko ngā whakamārama mō ēnei āhuatanga katoa ka whai ake.


      Mā te whāriki o te kōhanga reo e whakatō te kaha ki roto i te mokopuna, ki te ako, kia pakari ai tana tipu.


      Mā te whāriki o te kōhanga reo e whakaata te kotahitanga o ngā whakahaere katoa mō te ako a te mokopuna, mō te tipu o te mokopuna.

      Whānau Tangata

      Me whiri mai te whānau, te hapū, te iwi, me tauiwi, me ō rātou wāhi nohonga, ki roto i te whāriki o te kōhanga reo, hei āwhina, hei tautoko i te akoranga, i te whakatipuranga o te mokopuna.

      Ngā Hononga

      Mā roto i ngā piringa, i ngā whakahaere i waenganui o te mokopuna me te katoa, e whakatō te kaha ki roto i te mokopuna ki te ako.

  • Strands and Goals
    • Strands and Goals

      The strands and goals arise from the four principles. The whāriki is woven from these four principles and from the following five strands, or essential areas of learning and development. The principles and strands together form the framework for the curriculum. Each strand has several goals. Learning outcomes have been developed for each goal in each of the strands, so that the whāriki becomes an integrated foundation for every child’s development.

      Strand 1: Well-being – Mana Atua

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


      Children experience an environment where:

      • their health is promoted;
      • their emotional well-being is nurtured;
      • they are kept safe from harm.

      Strand 2: Belonging – Mana Whenua

      Children and their families feel a sense of belonging.


      Children and their families experience an environment where:

      • connecting links with the family and the wider world are affirmed and extended;
      • they know that they have a place;
      • they feel comfortable with the routines,customs, and regular events;
      • they know the limits and boundaries of acceptable behaviour.

      Strand 3: Contribution – Mana Tangata

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


      Children experience an environment where:

      • there are equitable opportunities for learning, irrespective of gender, ability, age, ethnicity, or background;
      • they are affirmed as individuals;
      • they are encouraged to learn with and alongside others.

      Strand 4: Communication – Mana Reo

      The languages and symbols of their own and other cultures are promoted and protected.


      Children experience an environment where:

      • they develop non-verbal communication skills for a range of purposes;
      • they develop verbal communication skills for a range of purposes;
      • they experience the stories and symbols of their own and other cultures;
      • they discover and develop different ways to be creative and expressive.

      Strand 5: Exploration – Mana Aotūroa

      The child learns through active exploration of the environment.


      Children experience an environment where:

      • their play is valued as meaningful learning and the importance of spontaneous play is recognised;
      • they gain confidence in and control of their bodies;
      • they learn strategies for active exploration, thinking, and reasoning;
      • they develop working theories for making sense of the natural, social, physical, and material worlds.