Understanding the Early Years Learning Framework
Sourced from the incredible website…. AussieChildcareNetwork.com
Australia has released its first national Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) for early childhood education, 0-5 years. The Early Years Learning Framework enables childcare professionals to extend and enrich children’s learning, provide opportunities for children to develop a foundation for learning and for children to become successful learners. The EYLF is a guide which provides general outcomes for children’s learning and how they may be attained through the Principles, Practices and Learning Outcomes.
The Early Years Learning Framework.. is a foundation of Principles, Practices and Learning Outcomes to incorporate into our curriculum (formerly known as a program).
Concepts of Early Years Learning Framework:
Belonging, Being & Becoming:
Within the Framework there are three basic concepts that children’s lives are characterized by Belonging, Being and Becoming. This refers to how a child from even before birth is linked to family, community, culture and place. Through these relationships a child’s development and learning takes place as they begin to explore, develop interests, create their own identity and make meaning to the world around them. The three concepts, Belonging, Being & Becoming, represent life and living and are constantly referred to throughout the EYLF.
Belonging – to understand that you are part of a group, feeling that you are part of a family. Having a feeling that you are linked with others and experience important relationships. A child’s sense of belonging can be referred to their relationships with family members – recognizing mum, dad, siblings, grandparents etc. Within early childhood, a child’s sense of belonging can relate to how comfortable a child is within the setting, having a sense of trust and security with childcare professionals. When a child has a sense of belonging they are more confident, feel more secure, be more creative and more likely to explore the world of learning.
Being – to experience what is happening now, life in the present. For children, understanding that they are accepted for who they are and knowing that others care about them. Within early childhood, a child’s sense of being can relate to how childcare professionals show respect to each individual child, through greetings, conversations and actions. When a child has a sense of being they build and maintain relationships with others, take part in life’s journey and face challenges in everyday life.
Becoming – to experience change through different events and circumstances in one’s life. A child’s sense of becoming refers to the changes they experience as they grow, learn and develop. Within early childhood, a child’s sense of being, changes overtime as they gain knowledge, extend their understandings, create relationships and develop skills. This enables a child to learn to participate actively in today’s society.
Principles, Practices and Learning Outcomes:
The Early Years Learning Framework has a structure provided by three key elements – Principles, Practices and Learning Outcomes. These help us to reflect about our work, to appropriately plan our programs for children and guide us on how we work with children, their families and our community.
Principles relates to our beliefs and values. The Early Years Learning Framework provides us with Principles to guide us in our work with children and focuses on assisting each individual child to make progress towards the Learning Outcomes. The five principles are the following -
- Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships – having an understanding and being aware of children’s thoughts and feelings. Positively interacting with each individual child in their learning and support the development of a child’s sense of wellbeing.
- Partnerships – working in partnerships with families within the early childhood setting. Creating a warm and welcoming environment for all children and their families. Collaborating with childcare professionals, parents, people within the community to ensure learning experiences are meaningful for the children.
- High Expectations and equity – believing that all children are able to succeed, regardless of cultural diversity and abilities. Having high expectations for all children in their achievement in learning. Ensure that all children have opportunities to achieve learning outcomes.
- Respect for diversity – respecting, valuing and reflecting the values and beliefs of families. Show consideration and respect of cultures, languages, histories, traditions, family lifestyle practices of all families. Promote a greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
- Ongoing learning and reflective practices – continually improve professional knowledge and learning practices. Value the local knowledge of families and the community. Engage in ongoing learning of philosophy, ethics and practice. Gather information that supports children’s developmental learning.
Practices relates to how we put our Principles into action by working together with children, their families and within our community. The Early Years Learning Framework promotes children’s learning by drawing upon a repertoire of pedagogical practices (using our skills and knowledge that enable us to help children to learn) by –
- Holistic approaches – teaching and learning through recognition of the mind, body and spirit. Paying attention to a child’s physical, personal, social & emotional, cognitive and spiritual wellbeing aspects of learning. Foster and enhance children’s understanding of the natural environment and the connections between the people, plants, animals and the land.
- Responsiveness to children – being aware and responding to each individual child’s strengths, abilities and emerging interests. Value and further develop children’s strengths, interests, skills, abilities and knowledge to further extend their learning.
- Learning through play – provides an endless amount of opportunities for children to explore, discover, create and imagine. Play extends children’s thinking and promotes a hands on approach to learning. Create a learning environment which encourages children to build on children’s learning in positive ways.
- Intentional teaching – teaching that is deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful. Actively promote children’s learning through challenging experiences and interactions. Use strategies to extend on children’s problem solving and thinking such as demonstrating, explaining and questioning.
- Learning environments – respond to the interests and needs of the children. Both indoor/outdoor environments offer children and families to contribute ideas, questions, and interests and promote children’s understanding about their responsibility to care for their environment. Provide a range of opportunities for individual and shared experiences.
- Cultural competence – celebrates the benefits of diversity and has the ability to understand and acknowledge differences. Effectively communicate and interact with children, families and members of the community across cultures. Gain knowledge, understanding and a positive attitude towards cultural differences.
- Continuity of learning and transitions – building on each child’s past and present experiences enables them to feel secure, confident and connected to people, events and situations that they are familiar with. Transitions between settings offer opportunities and challenges. Assist children in understanding the traditions, routines and practices of the settings to ease the transition process and to help deal with any changes that may occur.
- Assessment for learning – relates to the process of gathering and analyzing information as evidence about what children understand and their abilities. An ongoing cycle of planning, documenting and evaluating each child’s learning which enables us to support and extend children’s learning. It should include a variety of methods as all children demonstrate their learning in different ways.
Learning Outcomes encourages childcare professionals to track what children can do. Supports and guides individual learning programs for children. It provides reference points which can be used to identify a child’s progression. The Learning Outcomes are relevant to children of all ages (birth to five years) and acknowledges that each individual child learning progresses at their own rate. In the Early Years Learning Framework there are five Learning Outcomes and under each of the outcomes there are broad goals which provide key components of learning that may be observed in children as they learn.
Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
- Children feel safe, secure, and supported
- Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency
- Children develop knowledgeable and confident self identities
- Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
- Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation
- Children respond to diversity with respect
- Children become aware of fairness
- Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment
Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
- Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing
- Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
- Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating
- Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another
- Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials
Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators
- Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
- Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts
- Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media
- Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work
- Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking