Article Index

The Primary Caregiver or Key Teacher System at Centres

Every centre should have a ‘primary caregiver’ or ‘key teacher’ system in place. Note that this is especially important in large centres with many children and adults. When children have someone at the centre who is their main carer and personal advocate then you know you are not putting your child into an institutional or traditional orphanage style set-up.

How does it work?

A teacher will be allocated to be your child’s primary caregiver. Your child may be given a second primary caregiver so that when one is on a meal break or away, your child will not be left without a primary caregiver.  Other staff and teachers will continue to care for and work with your child, but your child’s primary caregiver/ key teacher will have overall responsibility for your child and your child’s well-being within the group. 

What are the main benefits?

Having a primary caregiver/ key teacher for your child enables quicker, smoother, and more efficient communication between the service and you. It gives you a main point of contact on any matter to do with your child. And, your child will then have a dependable adult friend to watch over them from day one!   


The Early Childhood Education Curriculum

Te Whāriki is the name of the early childhood education curriculum.

Te Whāriki helps to ensure that children are getting support to develop the foundation skills for learning. The curriculum document sets out expectations, required capabilities, and goals for supporting children’s learning.

Children are viewed as individuals and if a service is successfully implementing Te Whāriki then you will not see a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Teachers must follow children’s individual progress and assess their learning.

Check the documentation on your child's learning at the service.

  • Do the learning stories, observations and other assessments and planning show a good understanding of your child?
  • Does the educator or teachers show they have a good understanding of your child?
  • Are they helping your child to continue to develop and extend learning?
  • Are you invited to contribute and provide feedback, and involved in setting goals?