The next step for Whanganui kindergartens has begun after amalgamation with a Porirua-based association.

The Whanganui Kindergarten Association (WKA) joined with He Whānau Manaaki (HWM) kindergarten association, which operates 85 kindergartens across the Wellington region.

The change came into effect on July 1.

WKA president Collette Redman said the amalgamation is a new step in the association's journey.

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"We're building on a strong and proud history which holds us in good stead as a community to build and grow kindergarten across this region for generations to come.

"We're excited about the possibilities and look forward to continuing to provide high quality teaching and learning that is affordable and accessible to families and whanau in every community."

The merge is the end result of Whanganui's management team and teachers receiving support from He Whānau Manaaki over the past 18 months.

A working group was set up to look at a possible merge last year, and in May WKA members voted to amalgamate.

Past and present staff governance board members, life members, parents, friends and colleagues of the WKA attended a function last week to remember standout moments of the association's history.

The Whanganui Kindergarten Association was established in 1949 with the first kindergarten opening later that year in the Baden Powell Hall on Durie Hill.

Since then the number of kindergartens under the association has grown to 15 in Whanganui, Maxwell, Ohakune, Taihape and Waiouru.