Children – The heart of all we do
Ko nga tamariki te iho o a matau mahi katoa

The Engaging Priority Families programme is a free service which supports families/whanau with early learning. We work with 3 to 5 year old children/tamariki who are not participating in Early Childhood Educational (ECE) services and/or have poor attendance.

Our co-ordinators develop Early Learning Plans (ELP’s) with families to facilitate and monitor their child’s/tamariki’s participation in ECE services.

We help to establish foundations for their child/tamariki in preparation for their transition to school. This transition includes: primary school enrolments, pre-entry visits and monitoring of their attendance during the first 12 weeks of starting school. Engaging Priority Families coordinators continue to support children for the first 6 months after enrolling into primary school.

The programme – part of the Ministry of Education’s Engaging Priority Families/Whanau Initiative – targets Maori, Pasifika, low socio-economic families/whanau and migrant families to help them achieve strong, early learning foundations through sustained early childhood education.

Programme benefits for family/whanau?

  • Receive options from ECE coordinators in order to make informed decisions about their child’s enrolment
  • Receive support to help overcome barriers to their child/tamariki attending an ECE
  • Receive support with the enrolment process into ECE
  • Receiving support with the enrolment process into Primary school including a six month transition to school plan
  • Understand the importance of attending ECE regularly
  • Help their child build self confidence in social skills and self-esteem
  • Regular goal-setting to help with their child’s early learning and development, including numeracy and literacy skills
  • Ongoing support in maintaining relationships between families, ECE services and primary schools

For More Information

To learn more about the Engaging Priority Families programme please contact: The practice manager on 09 276 3729 or email


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