Families entering childcare for the first time will be confronted with a range of phrases and terms that they are unfamiliar with. One that crops up more and more is EYLF learning outcomes as well as EYLF principles. EYLF stands for Early Years Learning Framework. Understanding the meaning of this and the context in which it is applied will help you to navigate your way through the early child care years.
In answer to the often asked question what is EYLF it needs to be understood that the Early Years Learning Framework forms a key plank In the national quality framework for early childhood education and care. Developed in collaboration with federal state and territory governments as well as academics from the early childcare sector, the framework outlines a series of objectives for the early child care centres to meet and allows them the freedom to structure their own curriculum in accordance with the framework. The framework has been progressively rolled out over the past decade after the need for change was identified.
The need for change was first identified In a 2008 government discussion paper entitled the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care The paper identified the following changes that needed to be addressed in the provision of child care
The EYLF is structured around recognition of childhood being a time of belonging, being and becoming. In recognition of this the EYLF is structured for outcomes that will aid and support these concepts. By using the outcomes as a guide in developing early learning programs, the early childcare center can develop better quality learning experiences. The Council of Australian governments endorsed five key outcomes of EYLF. The learning outcomes which are covered by the EYLF are as follows…
By being given the opportunity to experience opportunities to learn about themselves, while growing in confidence, children have a right to be a child as well as to feel significant and respected. These experiences can help to shape the child’s identity in a positive way.
That children should be able to develop a sense of place and belonging as well as understand their rights and responsibilities. They should also learn about how they fit into their family and community. This interaction will also help to cement the child’s relationship to traditions and practices of both their family and the community.
That children develop a strong sense of physical and psychological well-being which will lead to a greater sense of resilience and allows the child to develop an ability to cope with daily stresses and challenges. Overall well-being includes such markers as physical health, overall happiness and competent social functioning.
That the atmosphere encourages children to become strong and confident learners this will enable them to have a sense of security while being active and involved learning participants as they develop competencies in various disciplines.
That children are encouraged to become effective communicators through a range of mediums including music, dance and drama.
The Early Years Learning Framework embraces the concept of play based learning and describes it as a way for children to relate to and interpret the world around them. Children also use play to learn social skills.
Play-based learning leverages the child’s natural motivation to play. It can include both spontaneous child initiated play and structured play.
EYLF principles and practices are also guided by 5 core principles. These are as follows…
Educators can help children to grow their social skills by nurturing positive interactions and providing regular emotional support.
Educators are to recognise families as being the child’s primary and most influential educators. They should foster educational partnerships with family members to create a meaningful and valuable curriculum.
Regardless of their circumstances or abilities, children should be given every opportunity to succeed. Educators should promote inclusivity and participation for all children.
By modelling respect for different traditions and lifestyle choices educators can help children feel good about themselves and comfortable with others. An early introduction to diversity helps to expose children to new experiences.
Ongoing professional learning and development is encouraged among educators who are also encouraged to value family and community knowledge.
EYLF developmental milestones, principles and outcomes put the child’s learning first and foremost.