EYLF Outcomes in Childcare

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.

 What is the Early Years Learning Framework

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.

Why the need for change

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 growth of more working families entering the workforce
  • A need for government to support families
  • A need for higher quality education and care to Improve short term outcomes such as school readiness, to provide better outcomes for disadvantaged children, to create a positive pathway for learning in life, to better identify at-risk children, create more diversity in the classroom, as well as the delivery of significant economic benefits
  • A false division between the preschool education and childcare sectors
  • Gaps that existed in the assessment of quality in the care and education sectors
  • A need to put the child first

The 5 EYLF outcomes explained

a carer and child work on developing his motor skills while at childcare

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…

Children Have a Strong Sense of Identity

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.

Children are Connected with and Contribute to the World

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.

Children Have a Strong sense of well being

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.

Children are Confident and Involved Learners

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.

Children are Effective Communicators

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.

The Five Principles of EYLF

EYLF principles and practices are also guided by 5 core principles. These are as follows…

Secure, Respectful and Reciprocal Relationships

Educators can help children to grow their social skills by nurturing positive interactions and providing regular emotional support.

Partnership

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.

High Expectations and Equity

Regardless of their circumstances or abilities, children should be given every opportunity to succeed. Educators should promote inclusivity and participation for all children.

Respect for Diversity

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 Learning and Reflective Practice

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.