Strengthening early learning opportunities (SELO)

What is SELO?

SELO (strengthening early learning opportunities for children, whānau, families and communities) is a professional development programme for early learning.

It is targeted at early childhood education providers and kōhanga reo that have low participation rates or need support in providing quality early learning.

There are three different programmes available. Each programme will be shaped to the service's needs.

SELO programmes

Programme 1

This programme provides in-depth professional development.

It is available to licensed early childhood education (ECE) services and kōhanga reo in locations identified by the Ministry of Education. A facilitator will work directly with management and teachers/educators to ensure a shift in practice towards delivering high quality early childhood education.

Programme 2

This programme focuses on community specific professional development in locations identified by the Ministry of Education.

Different aspects of the community are taken into account. This is to ensure that the service is responsive to its identity, language and culture.

Professional development designed for certificated playgroups and children/whānau with special education needs are included in this programme.

Programme 3

This programme covers 7 threads. These threads focus on different areas within the early childhood education environment:

  • Strengthening early learning opportunities for infants and toddlers
  • Strengthening early learning opportunities in Te Aho Tukutuku/early mathematics
  • Strengthening early learning opportunities in early literacy
  • Strengthening Māori leadership in early childhood services
  • Strengthening Pasifika leadership in early childhood services
  • Strengthening leaders in early childhood services
  • Whakapiki i te Reo Māori

Accessing SELO

To find out if your service qualifies for SELO programme 1, 2 or 3, please contact the following:

LocationSELO leadContact
Tai Tokerau

Sharleen Edmonds
09 408 6938


Sarah Morrison


Ngawai Beazley
09 632 9528
09 632 9579


Terri Burridge
07 858 7172
Bay of Plenty/Rotorua/Taupo

Shari Brell
07 734 31361
Hawkes Bay/Gisborne

Helen Keats
06 831 0660

Nicole Hobbs 

06 349 6310


Marnie Hainsworth


Angela Coutts
04 463 7575
04 439 4629

Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast

Gwen Gilmore
03 539 1532

Paul Habinshuti
03 378 7522

Julie Croswell
03 471 5218

Background information

The Government wants to ensure all children and families can access quality ECE services everywhere in New Zealand.

The priority is to improve participation in quality ECE among:

  • Māori children
  • Pasifika children
  • children from low socio-economic families. 

In line with this priority, the ECE professional development investment has been targeted towards services with the greatest chance of meeting this goal. A major focus of SELO is teachers working with children who have the greatest potential benefit to gain from ECE.

The Government has confidence in the professionalism of teachers, educators and management of ECE services. The SELO programme supports teachers and managers in the ECE environment and helps to further improve teaching practice.

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