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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ATWC is committed to best practice and working in ways that respects the dignity of individuals and their whanau.

ATWC supports the work of Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care. Information about the Commission can be found at

ATWC has created a survivor-focussed process to address any harm that has been experienced in the past. We are committed to ensuring we listen carefully, apologise sincerely, and support recovery and healing.

Find out more about making a historic abuse claim or complete the form below.

Please see links below for further information.

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Royal Comission FAQ

ATWC – royal commission

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