What we know about Māori Medium early learning Publications
This report examines data relating to attendance at and the availability of Māori-medium early learning services (kōhanga reo and Māori-medium ECE services), the Māori-medium early learning workforce, and enrolments in Māori-medium teachers’ qualifications. Kōhanga reo are examined separately from other Māori-medium services because their management and operation are different. The data for this report comes from the 2020 ECE Census (20-28 June 2020). Only licensed services were used in the analysis for this report — education and care services, kindergartens, home-based services, playcentres and kōhanga reo.
Author(s): Fernanda Piraud, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: September 2021
Education is a key mechanism for the revitalisation of te reo Māori. The number of attendances in Māori-medium early learning has remained stable over the last seven years, and the availability of Māori-medium early learning services has increased. In order to maintain and increase the provision of Māori-medium education, a teaching workforce skilled in te reo Māori is essential. However, the number of enrolments in kaiako training and Māori-medium initial teacher education (ITE) for early learning is small and has been decreasing.
- Attendance in Māori-medium early learning has remained stable between 2014 and 2020. It comprises the following (over this period):
- Attendances at kōhanga reo which decreased from 8,936 to 8,334 (a 7 percent decrease) and
- Attendances at Māori-medium ECE which increased from 1,070 to 1,694 (a 58 percent increase).
- Māori-medium early learning is largely attended by mokopuna Māori. Over 94 percent of attendances at kōhanga reo were from mokopuna Māori, with around 85 percent in Māori-medium ECE.
- The proportion of mokopuna Māori attending Māori-medium early learning, compared with the total population of mokopuna Māori, has increased slightly for those aged two and older over the last seven years. The greatest increase in the percentage of attendance was for mokopuna Māori aged three and four with a 0.5 percentage point increase.
- Overall, the total number of Māori-medium early learning services has increased over the last seven years from 484 in 2014 to 500 in 2020 (a 3.3 percent increase). The Northland region experienced the greatest increase in Māori-medium early learning services, with eight more services in 2020 than in 2014.
- The number of qualified kaiako working at kōhanga reo increased from 430 in 2015 to 496 in 2020, and the number of kaiāwhina increased from 158 to 216.1 Over the same period, unqualified staff decreased from 2,422 to 1,943.
- In Māori-medium ECE services, the percentage of qualified teachers increased from 61 percent in 2014 to 66 percent in 2020.
- Enrolments for kaiako training with Kōhanga Reo National Trust decreased from 420 in 2014 to 260 in 2020 (a 32 percent decrease). Enrolments in initial Māori-medium teacher courses are also decreased. Enrolments in initial Māori-medium teacher courses decreased from 20 in 2016 to 15 in 2020 (a 25 percent decrease).
- Kaiako are those who have completed the Whakapakari Tino Rangatiratanga qualification (NZQA level 7) through the Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust and Kaiāwhina are those who have completed the Te Ara Tuarua (NZQA level 5) or Te Ara Tuatahi (NZQA level 2) qualification through Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust.
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