Despite making major advances in educational provision, Māori and Pasifika children continue to lag behind other groups, in New Zealand, achieving disproportionately lower results on national averages. Key to educational success for Māori and Pasifika children is the acknowledgement that they are culturally located and the recognition that effective education must embrace culture. Early childhood education has an important role in building strong learning foundations for young children, however achieving this is a complex process especially with regard to Māori and Pasifika children in early childhood education. This article reports on the first phase of a TLRI research project, Te Whatu Kete Mātauranga: Weaving Māori and Pasifika Infant and Toddler Theory and Practice in Early Childhood Education (2015–2016). The research aims to support culturally embedded infant and toddler provision in Māori and Pasifika early childhood services, and to provide contextually located, culturally relevant theory and practice guidelines for early childhood teachers and services.