Holistic Development Kotahitanga

Holistic Development Kotahitanga

5 September 2021

The New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki, has the vision that “children are competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society”.

To enable children to reach their full potential, we have a responsibility to nurture their holistic development. Te Whāriki notes, “holistic development can be thought of in terms of cognitive (hinengaro), physical (tinana), emotional (whatumanawa), spiritual (wairua), and social and cultural dimensions, but these dimensions need to be viewed holistically, as closely interwoven and interdependent.

When we focus on a particular area of learning, Educators consider how this focus relates to and connects with other aspects of learning and how it builds on the children’s strengths. Every aspect of the context – physical surroundings, emotional state, relationships with others and immediate needs – will affect what children learn from any particular experience. A holistic approach sees the child as a person who wants to learn, the task as a meaningful whole and the whole as a greater than the sum of its parts.”

At Nurtured at Home our Educators can provide a broad and rich curriculum to enable children to grow their capabilities across all dimensions. Often children are attending homebased childcare in the same community within which they live, so the people, sights, and sounds are familiar to them, creating a sense of belonging. In addition to learning within the Educator’s home, low rations means children have easy access to surrounding parks, walks, and community events such as playgroups, music, and the local library, children can also form strong connections to their community and the people within it.