Leaders and kaiako in half of the 290 services were not yet focused on deciding what learning matters here as they implemented Te Whāriki

Many services had taken some steps to identify priorities

Steps included:

  • philosophy review or development
  • consultation with parents and whānau (usually through surveys)
  • considering kaiako interests, knowledge and strengths
  • recognising children’s strengths, interests and needs.

Priorities varied in their focus on children’s learning and learning outcomes; few priorities considered the learning outcomes in Te Whāriki.

Service leaders and kaiako generally only considered a narrow set of information when determining priorities, so they were not a strong, rich base for the local curriculum.

When services had not taken steps to identify their priorities:

  • other issues were taking priority
  • kaiako were still developing their understanding of the implications of Te Whāriki for their practice.

Few services reflected the learning priorities in their local curriculum

Where services were doing well, they had become more purposeful in their curriculum design, and had changed programmes and routines to support their learning priorities.

Over one quarter of services were unable to show how learning priorities were reflected in their local
curriculum, assessment, planning or teaching practices. In these services:

  • learning priorities were not yet understood or identified
  • assessment and planning practices were poor quality
  • curriculum focused on kaiako priorities, rather than those of whānau and children

Fewer than half the services reflected their learning priorities in assessment and planning, and there was variability in how well this was done. In these services:

  • kaiako were focusing on building their capability to recognise learning and identifying learning outcomes
  • there was an emphasis on learning priorities for individuals, but not linked to priorities to inform a local curriculum

Leaders and kaiako were not sufficiently using internal evaluation, or their engagement with professional learning and development to support their focus on deciding "what learning matters here"

Most had participated in professional learning and development (PLD) about Te Whāriki (2017), including the
webinar series, workshops, and internal PLD such as staff discussions and team meetings, but for many, this did not lead to shifts in practice.

Where PLD helped, leaders and kaiako:

  • chose PLD relevant to them, their service and philosophy, was timely and helped them develop their understanding of what learning matters here and a local curriculum
  • encouraged whole-team involvement and professional dialogue.

Most services had some internal evaluation practices

  • most used internal evaluation as part of identifying their priorities
  • about one-third had not considered their learning priorities in internal evaluation
  • only a few evaluated effectiveness of implementation or children’s progress in relation to the priorities.
Service Type

Number of services
in sample

Percentage of
services in sample

National percentage of services
(as at 2 September 2019)

Education and care 184 64% 64%

The 290 services visited were representative of the national spread.

Kindergarten 41 14% 16%
Home-based 38 13% 11%
Playcentre 27 9% 9%