Educators now have NZ early childhood curriculum in Chinese


Chinese-background teachers and educators can now access New Zealand’s early childhood education curriculum, Te Whāriki, in Chinese language.

The Mandarin translation of Te Whāriki was produced by Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand with permission of the Ministry of Education. It is supported by 12 videos in Mandarin, covering a range of teaching topics based on Te Whāriki.

“We saw an opportunity to support Chinese-background teachers and educators to reflect Te Whāriki in their teaching practice, and for ECE services to support their Chinese-background educators and families,” says Te Rito Maioha Chief Executive Kathy Wolfe.

“In our culturally diverse country, the ability for other cultures to have Te Whāriki in their language supports the vision of children as competent and confident learners and communicators, secure in their sense of belonging.”

Around quarter-of-a million people in New Zealand identify as part of the Chinese ethnic group and Chinese language speakers make up 2% of NZ’s population*, around 95,250 people.

“We wanted to ensure language is no barrier for Chinese background teachers, educators or parents to support young children to learn in their own way, with adults who know them and have their best interests at heart.”

Te Rito Maioha International Advisor and Lecturer Hongwei Di says early childhood education is highly regarded in both cultures, but New Zealand’s play-based and inquiry-based learning environment is different from the structured Chinese ECE environment.

As a Chinese teacher arriving in New Zealand, she says she was inspired by Te Whāriki and its emphasis on respecting each child’s cultural roots, language and identity.

Kiddz Homebased Childcare Director Veronica Kidd says the translation has proved valuable both for visiting teachers and Chinese home-based educators when planning and evaluating children’s learning.

“It enables our Chinese home-based educators to independently strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the children’s learning. Reading your own language is so much more meaningful than relying on a third party translating through discussion. And it validates our educators’ language, culture and identity.”

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand is a membership organisation and leading provider of teacher training, new knowledge and best practice for early childhood education, nationally and internationally. 

Preview or order copies of Te Whāriki in Mandarin 

* Figures from 2018 NZ Census