In 2014, two established kindergarten organisations came together to become one, creating He Whānau Manaaki o Tararua Free Kindergarten Association Incorporated (Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens) - one of the largest providers in the New Zealand early childhood sector.

Our name translates as "the caring family of Tararua" and recognises the value of the kindergarten movement and the Tararua range that defines the region.  The name was developed in association with Sir Tamati and Lady Tilly Reedy, who both have a long association with early childhood education, including involvement in the development of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki.

The merger between the Rimutaka Kindergarten Association and Wellington Kindergarten Association was an important step in ensuring that kindergarten - one of New Zealand’s best loved and longest standing institutions - could continue to strengthen and thrive in our regions.

Since then both the Whanganui Kindergarten Association and the South Otago Kindergarten Association have also joined He Whānau Manaaki and together we provide affordable, quality education and care for children in the Central Plateau, Whanganui, Horowhenua, Kāpiti, Wairarapa, Upper Hutt, Eastbourne, Petone, Porirua, Wellington and South Otago.

We are an incorporated society governed by our Board - an elected group of parents and staff representatives - which sets policy and strategic direction. Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens operates within the policies and guidelines the Board sets, with the support of a senior management team.