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Te Whāriki and How it Compares to the Australian Early Years Framework

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Te Whāriki
Te Whariki original first document

Te Whāriki and EYF.
May 20, 2013.

This article puts Te Whāriki and EYF (the Early Years Framework) side by side to see what the differences are. This is a useful exercise to do because Te Whāriki was drafted in 1993 and the final version published in 1996.  Some argue that it is now outdated and we need to be looking at improving it and referring to curricula overseas.

The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia titled “Belonging, Being and Becoming” was published in 2009.  

Concepts in Te Whāriki and EYF are very similar. Australian early childhood professional guru, Joy Lubawy explains the wording is similar in lots of places, but with a little twist here and there, mostly saying the same things due to being grounded in the same sources and pedagogies.  

Both documents go into detail about how the curriculum in practice will look and what we will see children doing when they are achieving outcomes or goals.  Joy Lubawy notes that the USA curriculum “Standards” are also similar yet slightly different.

Below is an outline which makes the similarities and differences between the NZ and Australian curriculum documents clearer.

Joy Lubawy’s chart of showing similarities and differences

Te Whāriki – NZ

EYLF for Australia- Belonging, Being and Becoming


  • Empowerment
  • Holistic development
  • Family and Community
  • Relationships 


  • Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
  • Partnerships with families and EC educators
  • High expectations and equity
  • Respect for diversity
  • Ongoing learning and reflective practice

Strands and Goals:

1. Well-being
  • Health promoted
  • Emotional well-being nurtured
  • Kept safe

2. Belonging

  • Links with family and wider world affirmed/extended
  • Knowledge of place
  • Comfortable with routines, customs and regular events
  • Know limits and boundaries

3. Contribution

  • Equitable opportunities
  • Affirmation of individuals
  • Encouragement to learn alongside others

4. Communication

  • Development non-verbal skills
  • Development verbal skills
  • Experience stories and symbols
  • Discover and develop different ways to be creative and expressive

5. Exploration

  • Play valued and meaningful
  • Confidence and control of bodies
  • Active exploration, thinking and reasoning
  • Develop working theories to make sense of world. 


  • Holistic approaches
  • Responsiveness to children
  • Learning through play
  • Intentional Teaching
  • Learning Environments
  • Cultural Competence
  • Continuity of learning and transitions
  • Assessment for learning

Learning Outcomes:

1. Children have a strong sense of identity
  • Safe, secure and supported
  • Emerging autonomy, sense agency
  • Knowledgeable and confident self identity
  • Interact with care, empathy, respect

2. Children are connected with and contribute to their world

  • Sense of belonging to group
  • Diversity with respect
  • Being fair
  • Socially responsible

3. Children have a strong sense of well-being

  • Socially and emotionally strong
  • Take responsibility for self

4. Children are confident and involved learners

  • Dispositions for learning
  • Range of skills for problem solving, enquiry etc.
  • Transfer and adapt learning
  • Resource own learning

5. Children are effective communicators

  • Interact verbally/nonverbally
  • Engage range of texts
  • Express ideas
  • Understand symbols/patterns
  • Investigate ideas. 

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