Kōhanga reo are whānau cooperatives where the families are responsible for the overall management of the centres. The aim of the programme is to foster young children’s and parent’s knowledge of te reo Māori (language) and tïkanga Māori (culture).
Kōhanga reo are chartered through the umbrella organisation, Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust. The Trust is responsible for the quality and revitalisation of the Māori language. Through the Trust, kōhanga reo offer whānau training programmes and teacher training for kaiako (educators).
In kōhanga reo, the parents/whānau are closely involved in the total immersion learning and development programmes. Te reo Māori is the main language used. Parents join in the daily programme and participate in whānau-based learning. Whānau contribute to the kōhanga reo through koha and/or paying fees, depending on their circumstances.