New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, was updated in April 2017. Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa is for use by all early childhood education services. Te Whāriki a te Kōhanga Reo is for use in all kōhanga reo affiliated to Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust.

Since July 2017 early learning services have been supported to implement Te Whāriki through a programme of professional learning and development (PLD) including workshops, webinars and online resources provided by the Ministry of Education (the Ministry). ERO is undertaking a series of evaluations on the implementation of Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa.

The updated Te Whāriki (2017) reflects changes in theory, practice and early learning contexts that have occurred over the last 20 years. Specific changes include:

  • a stronger focus on bicultural practice, the importance of language, culture and identity
  • the inclusion of all children
  • reviewing the learning outcomes and streamlining them to 20 outcomes to enable a greater focus on “what matters here” when designing local curriculum
  • setting out the links to Te Marautanga o Aotearoa and The New Zealand Curriculum to support children’s learning continuity as they transition to school.

The bicultural structure, principles, strands, goals and aspiration for children remain the same (Te Whāriki Online).

In 2018 and 2019, ERO published the findings of three evaluations: Awareness and confidence to work with Te Whāriki, Engaging with Te Whāriki (2017) and Preparedness to implement Te Whāriki (2017). This series of evaluations had a progressive focus from awareness of and engagement with the updated curriculum to preparedness to implement Te Whāriki.

This document shares the findings of two further evaluations, building on the three previously published. These evaluations looked at how well leaders and kaiako were implementing Te Whāriki to benefit the children in their service. We were particularly interested in how well leaders and kaiako:

  • focused on the learning that mattered for their service
  • partnered with parents and whānau to support children’s learning.

Data was collected from the different services we visited each term, from Term 3, 2017 to Term 1, 2019.

We asked:

Awareness and confidence to work with Te Whāriki

July, 2018

290 services

  • How aware are leaders/kaiako of Te Whāriki (2017)?
  • How confident are leaders/kaiako to work with Te Whāriki (2017)?

Engaging with Te Whāriki

November, 2018

167 services

  • How aware are leaders/kaiako of Te Whāriki (2017)?
  • What steps are leaders/kaiako taking to review and design a local curriculum?

Preparedness to implement Te Whāriki

June, 2019
362 services

  • How well prepared are early learning services to implement Te Whāriki (2017)?

Deciding what learning matters here

Visited Term 4, 2018 –
January, 2019
290 services

  • To what extent are leaders and kaiako focusing on the learning that matters in their service as they
    implement Te Whāriki?

Learning-focused partnerships with parents and whānau

Visited Term 1, 2019
133 services

  • How well are leaders and kaiako engaging in learning-focused partnerships with parents and whānau as they implement Te Whāriki?