Just like primary school, early education has a National Quality Framework called the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). It outlines the principles, practices and outcomes that support and enhance young children's learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school.
Belonging, Being, Becoming
Belonging: Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. In early childhood, and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.
Being: Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world. 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. The early childhood years are not solely preparation for the future but also about the present.
Becoming: Children’s identities, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships change during childhood. They are shaped by many different events and circumstances. 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.
What is a Learning Outcome?
A Learning Outcome is a skill, knowledge or disposition that educators can actively promote in early childhood settings, in collaboration with children and families.
Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
The EYLF Learning Outcomes
1. Children have a strong sense of identity
Children learn about themselves and construct their own identity within the context of their families and communities. At DMW, we endeavour to promote this sense of identity through encouraging independence and self-help skills right from our Nursery. Each morning, every child has the opportunity to identify their name and photograph to place on their locker - cementing a sense of belonging within their classroom and at the service. The educators have a strong focus on establishing and maintaining respectful, trusting relationships with every child in our care and promoting these relationships between children.
2. Children are connected with and contribute to their world
From birth, children experience living and learning with others in a range of communities. These might include families, local communities or early childhood settings. At Discover My World, we are proud to give our children a sense of responsibility for their immediate and distant surroundings. We regularly explore how we can be more sustainable, how we can contribute to the community through visits to the local parks and libraries and how we can give children the freedom of choice to make their own decisions. We recognise that every child has a right to contribute to fair decision-making about matters that affect them - whether it be setting up a new space in the classroom or deciding what song to sing. We also provide lots of opportunities for children to be out and about in our local community through regular excursions, our intergenerational program and the chance for parents to be involved.
3. Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Wellbeing incorporates both physical and psychological aspects and is central to our pedagogy (method of teaching) here at DMW. Trust and confidence is demonstrated daily through our relationships with children and their families, decision-making and positive behaviour guidance. We ensure that all classrooms and playgrounds include a variety of learning spaces - creative arts tables, reading nooks, opportunities for group play as well as solitary play, quiet relaxation zones, construction areas, literacy and numeracy activities and gross motor courses. This gives children the freedom of choice from wide range of inclusive, learning-rich environments within our service. Our menu also encourages healthy eating habits and promotes the use of self-help skills, right from our Nursery!
4. Children are confident and involved learners
A sense of security and sound wellbeing gives children the confidence to experiment and explore and to try out new ideas, thus developing their competence and becoming active and involved participants in learning. Our program combines monthly intentional teaching topics with an interest-based approach to environments and activities. We encourage children and their families to contribute to our program by sending us photos from their weekend adventures, writing on our weekly program displays and telling us what they'd like to see more of! Our DMW Postbox allows children to leave notes for the team and also gives parents an opportunity to write feedback, ideas and suggestions to us each week.
5. Children are effective communicators
Children communicate with others using gestures, sounds, language and assisted communication. Literacy and numeracy capabilities are important aspects of communication and are vital for successful learning across the curriculum. As educators, we engage in sustained communication with children about ideas and experiences, and extend their vocabulary wherever possible.
At DMW, the EYLF is at the core of our program and decision making when it comes to practices.
We ensure all aspects of the EYLF are evident in our environments, our engagement with children, the way we work together with our families and the community.
For more information, please refer to the following document from the Early Years Learning Framework Australia