EYLF Concepts – Belonging, Being, Becoming

Belonging, Being & Becoming – Concepts Of The EYLF

The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) has been developed by the Australian Federal Government. At its core lie three core principles – being, belonging, and becoming. The EYLF has been developed as a curriculum guide for early childhood educators. Let’s look at the three key principles of EYLF – belonging, being, and becoming.

Concept 1- Belonging

Belonging is a basic human need.

We see ourselves through being part of a group. The first group that children feel a part of is their family. This sense of being linked to others as important relationships form helps to create an awareness of belonging. When an infant’s social experience extends beyond their immediate family, it is often within the environment of an early childhood setting Feelings of belonging in this environment can be associated with such matters as how comfortable the child feels in the childcare centre and whether the child develops a trusting relationship with childcare workers. As a child’s sense of belonging develops, so does their confidence and sense of security. With these newfound senses, the child is likely to increase their creativity and be more willing to explore learning opportunities.

Ways to encourage a sense of  belonging in childcare include:

  • Demonstrating respect
  • Acceptance of diversity
  • Getting to know families attending the centre and making them feel welcome
  • Providing positive and caring relationships
  • Engagement with children
  • Demonstrating an appreciation of each child as an individual and meeting their needs
  • Creating a meaningful learning environment
  • Provision of a secure environment

Concept 2 – Being

Encouraging the child to live in the moment helps them to understand that they are accepted and that people care for them being who they are. In the early childhood years, a child’s sense of being can be helped by childcare professionals in how they relate to and show respect for all children in their care. This can be done by paying attention to individual children through normal daily interactions. As a child’s sense of being develops, they are able to build and maintain relationships with others and they become better equipped to deal with life’s everyday challenges.

Ways to encourage a sense of being include:

  • Showing appreciation for the child’s skills
  • Allowing children to explore learning opportunities
  • Acknowledging each child’s culture
  • Showing support for each child
  • Being respectful to all children and their families
  • Understanding and recognising each child’s individual skills and values
  • Giving children the freedom to express themselves
  • Celebrating each child’s achievements

Concept 3 – Becoming

Life is about constant change, growth and development. “Becoming” embraces the changes within early childhood as a child’s sense of self or “being” evolves as they gain knowledge and understanding while building relationships and developing skills.

Ways to encourage Becoming include

  • Building a preparedness for school
  • Encouraging independence
  • Being focused on the child’s positives
  • Encouraging confidence
  • Developing and maintaining relationships
  • Creating solid foundations for learning

The EYLF being, belonging, becoming principles embrace the idea that as the child participates in everyday life, they will develop interests and build their own identity and understanding of the world and where they fit in it.