Engaging Priority Families (EPF)

The Engaging Priority Families initiative seeks to provide intensive early learning support to families and whānau of three and four year olds in target communities who are currently not participating in ECE to become involved with quality ECE. 

Each project runs for three years.

The priority for this initiative is Māori, Pasifika and low socio-economic status families and whānau in the most vulnerable situations whose children are not participating in ECE and who, without intensive support, are unlikely to do so. 

Core objectives of the intiative are:

  • Children participating in quality ECE
  • Parents engaging with their children’s learning at ECE and at home
  • Successful transition to school

Contracts are delivered by organisations with the community knowledge and experience required to effectively reach priority families. Each contract has components of establishing relationships with families, supporting families to engage with ECE and their children’s early learning, and supporting families to effectively transition to school.

In many cases, Engaging Priority Families’ projects are established alongside other participation initiatives.

How many projects have currently been set up and where are they located?

There are 25 Engaging Priority Families contracts delivering intiatives in 32 high priority communities across the country.

  • Nine contracts providing 14 initiatives in Whangarei, and South Auckland,
  • Nine contracts providing 11 initiatives in Waikato,
  • four contracts providing four initiatives in the lower North Island, and
  • three contracts delivering three initiatives in the South Island.

How are communities selected for an EPF Project?

Communities of focus have been chosen by selecting census area units with the largest numbers of Maori or Pasifika new entrant children who did not participate in ECE.

For more information contact your local Ministry of Education office.


Last updated: 14 April 2014