Weaving culture into every day

Kindergarten supports all tamariki to grow strong in their identity, culture, and language, enjoying the cultural prosperity that derives from the dual heritage and shared future inherent in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitangi.

A strong sense of manaakitanga (caring, nurturing and respect) and whanaungatanga (relationally connected to families, communities, iwi, and our environments we engage within) are central to the culture that is Kidsfirst Kindergartens. We weave our histories, stories, songs, and language of Aotearoa New Zealand into every kindergarten day.

Exploration and engagement with nature foster kaitiakitanga (guardianship, care-taking) within the programme – supporting the children to develop eco-awareness and to understand they have important roles to enact at local, national and global levels in the education of sustainable practices.

At Kidsfirst Kindergartens, we acknowledge and value every person as a teacher and learner. This reflects the kaupapa Māori principle of ako: that the teacher is also learning from the child and their whānau – all roles are interchangeable.

Building, trusting, caring for, and having respectful relationships with whānau/families is key to our success in supporting and facilitating children’s learning – it is this unity (kotahitanga) that provides the platform for life-long learning.

The language, culture and identity of all of our families are highly respected and valued – whānau/families are viewed as significant partners, and are included in our early learning journey. Biculturalism is a key fundamental element of how we enhance and progress our Kidsfirst ways of being, doing and knowing.

We are proud of the diversity of our network: our kindergartens provide welcoming and caring settings for families and children from a vast array of countries and cultures. We have great fun, and learn a great deal from celebrating our diversities at every opportunity. Children become curious about the day-to-day lives of other families, learn to respect the ideas and behaviours that are important to them, and expand their horizons in all kinds of wonderful and meaningful ways.

To really see the difference that learning biculturally makes, book a tour of your local kindergarten.