Te Whariki sets out four broad principles, a set of strands, and goals for each strand. Below is an outline of these.
1. Whakamana – Empowerment
The early childhood curriculum empowers the child to learn and grow.
2. Kotahitanga – Holistic Development
The early childhood curriculum reflects the holistic way children learn and grow.
3. Whanau Tangata – Family and Community
The wider world of family and community is an integral part of the early childhood curriculum.
4. Nga Hononga – Relationships
Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places, and things.
Strands and Associated Goals
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; and 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; and they know the limits and boundaries of acceptable behaviour.
Stand 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; and 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; and they discover and develop different ways to be creative and expressive.
Strand 5: Exploration – Mana Aoturoa
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; and they develop working theories for making sense of the natural, social, physical, and material worlds.