As a parent/carer of a child in an early childhood education and care setting you will no doubt have come across references to the EYLF. It might be mentioned in terms of outcomes or tagged to posts and stories that describe what learning is happening for your child. Our curriculum is made up of many components with the EYLF forming the framework for our ‘Visions’ and an important element in our ‘cycle of learning’. The question remains…. Do you know what it is? All Early Childhood Education and Care services use the EYLF as a foundation to ensure each child receives quality teaching and learning.
The EYLF, otherwise known as the Early Years Learning Framework, is a guiding document for Early Childhood Education & Care. It covers children from birth to 5 and is what gets used before children enter school, under the ACARA or SCASA guidelines.
The EYLF was first published in 2009, when the Commonwealth Government of Australia developed the first National Learning Framework as part of a broader National Quality Framework. It was created to acknowledge and recognise the significance of the first 5 years, to child development and took several years of consultation to complete.
Designed to assist educators in the sector, it helps with decisions related to their curriculum, planning and evaluating. The framework writes “childhood is a time to be, to see and make meaning of the world” and the EYLF tries to encompass all of the different ways we can support children to do just that.
The EYLF celebrates learning through a play-based approach, suggesting play is a context for learning that sees children:
Expressing their personalities and uniqueness
Exploring their curiosity and creativity
Scaffold their prior learning to new learning
Develop relationships and concepts
Feel a sense of wellbeing.
The Framework itself consists of;
- 3 overarching themes. Belonging, being and Becoming.
- 5 principles. These reflect contemporary theories and research evidence concerning children’s learning and early childhood pedagogy. These principals underpin the practices.
- 8 practices. These practices focus on assisting all children to make progress in relation to the Learning Outcomes. They draw on a rich repertoire of pedagogical practices to promote children’s learning.
- 5 outcomes. The five Learning Outcomes are designed to capture the integrated and complex learning and development of all children across the birth to five age range. They are broad and acknowledge that children learn in a variety of ways and vary in their capabilities and pace of learning.
- 19 sub outcomes. Set of skill, knowledge or disposition that educators can actively promote in early childhood settings, in collaboration with children and families
Three Overarching Themes
Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities.
Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children’s lives. It is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, engaging with life’s joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life.
Becoming reflects this process of rapid and significant change that occurs in the early years as young children learn and grow. It emphasises learning to participate fully and actively in society
Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
High expectations and equity
Respect for diversity
Ongoing learning and reflective practice
Responsiveness to children
Learning through play
Continuity of learning and transitions
Assessment for learning
1.Children have a strong sense of identity
2.Children are connected with and contribute to their world
3.Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
4.Children are confident and involved learners
5.Children are effective communicators
All together they form a framework for teaching and learning. They help educators to consider the whole child as they plan and prepare and become terms of reference when creating a cohesive and consistent centre approach to education and care.
For the first time in over a decade these principles, practices and outcomes have come under review by a national consortium, to ensure that it is ‘reflective of contemporary developments in practice and knowledge’.
Stay tuned for the updates!