WHAT IS THE EARLY YEARS LEARNING FRAMEWORK (EYLF) AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR MY CHILD?
You may have heard of the EYLF before, but do you know what it is? The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) is a national curriculum framework that is in place to ensure quality and consistency in the delivery of early childhood education programs across all early childhood settings in Australia. The framework is an important tool to help professionals and parents achieve the best development outcomes for children. The role of the EYLF within the National Quality Framework (NQF) is to set a mandatory standard for education across Australia.
It is important to understand that the EYLF is not a curriculum or syllabus. Instead, it is a combination of strategies and learning objectives that provide early childhood educators with the ability to create their educational programmes and activities. It enables those within an early childhood setting to extend and enrich children’s learning, provide a variety of educational opportunities and for children to become successful learners.
The EYLF has a strong focus on play-based learning and emphasises the importance of communication and language, as well as social and emotional development in children. Play is how children and babies learn to understand and explore the world around them. Educators create programs and environments that support children’s right to play and understand that play is how they discover, imagine and create. Play provides the opportunity for children to connect their thinking and actions, which leads to learning.
While the EYLF provides documentation of strategies and objectives for educators to make use of, the framework requires a collaborative and cohesive relationship between these care settings and families, in order to thrive. Clear communication around your child’s learning and development ensure consistency and continuity in the child’s learning. Families need to understand there are three central themes that are central to how we interact with children, the environment we provide, and the experiences we organise. These are belonging, being and becoming. Under these themes, there are several core outcomes, principles, and practices in the framework which we will detail below.
The EYLF is based on five core outcomes:
Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of well being
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators
In addition to the five learning outcomes, there are five principles that guide educators:
Principle 1: Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
Principle 2: Partnerships
Principle 3: High expectations and equity
Principle 4: Respect for diversity
Principle 5: Ongoing learning and reflective practice
The eight practices of the framework are the learning strategies and practices that our educators use to apply the principles:
Practice 1: Adopting holistic approaches
Practice 2: Being responsive to children
Practice 3: Planning and implementing learning through play
Practice 4: Intentional teaching
Practice 5: Creating physical and social learning environments that have a positive impact on children’s learning
Practice 6: Valuing the cultural and social contexts of children and their families
Practice 7: Providing for continuity in experiences and enabling children to have a successful transition
Practice 8: Assessing and monitoring children’s learning to inform provision and to support children in achieving learning outcomes.
As you can see, the Early Years Learning Framework provides early learning educators with a framework that they can incorporate into their everyday practices. So, what does this mean for your child? As a team of educators, we are committed to implementing the EYLF into our daily programs and practices and use the framework to guide our decision making. Our mission is to help each child uncover the gifts and talents that make them unique, at the same time fostering a love of learning. We provide a variety of play-based activities in a supportive, safe and stimulating learning environment, including yoga, language, sports and dance. Our holistic School Readiness Program is a crucial part of your child’s learning experience and essential when transitioning to school.