Early learning

Your baby has an amazing brain, and starts learning right from birth. You are your child’s first and most important teacher and you help their brain grow through play and early learning.

Early learning – first steps to a great future

Early learning helps children to be confident and curious about the world. It also helps children do better when they go to school or kura.

Your child learns through:

  • everything they do, see, feel, smell, taste and hear
  • everywhere they go
  • everyone who talks, smiles and plays with them.

There is lots of information available about how you can support your child's early learning and strategies for parenting.  There are lots of fun play ideas on the Ministry's education website. You can also check out the Ministry for Social Development SKIP website for some useful information and resources for parents.

Early childhood education (ECE) services and kōhanga reo build on the early learning your child is already doing:

  • at home with whānau
  • on the marae or at church
  • playing with their friends.

ECE is a great investment in your child’s future.

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