“Education is the most powerful weapon we have to change the world”
– Nelson Mandela
Early Education in Australia has transformed over the years to become a fundamental, all-encompassing fusion of learning, playing, communities and families. Not only does childcare provide nurturing care and freedom of choice to families but also guides children through a significant time of their development and education that prepares them for the years that follow.
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) was created as part of the Federal Government’s National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care. The framework identifies important aspects of children’s learning from birth through to their transition to school.
Being, Belonging and Becoming are the three main pillars of the EYLF and each element represents an aspect of children’s learning and development from a young age. We aim to help better inform our families on the benefits of early education and the nationally approved method to deliver the best learning experience through play.
Being is the here and now, through the child’s eyes. Often educational structures concentrate on the future but this element focuses on each child’s present state, identifying who they are and engaging in life’s complications, challenges and pleasures.
As stated by The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, “Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world”. Children begin to take part in life’s journey, build and maintain relationships and face challenges once they have a sense of being.
An example of this during your child’s day would be dressing up in the costumes of their favourite heroes. Through imagination and engaged play, the children are able to explore the world around them in the footsteps of someone else, learning the differences between themselves, the character they portray and this in turn helps them define their own definition of “self”.
Other strategies that include Being in your child’s development include: extending on children’s interests, embracing their culture, supporting their individual needs, recognising their values and skills, allowing them to express themselves, and celebrating their achievements.
Educating your children is of the upmost importance in their early years. Part of this education is structured by a framework that does not differ from state to state, which is highly beneficial especially to families on the move. The EYLF is designed to make the most of a child’s learning from birth to five years and ease the transition into a formal schooling environment.
An integral part of human existence is understanding where you fit in the world. Relationships are a crucial aspect to gaining a sense of belonging and are developed and nurtured further when children interact with each other, their families and members of the community.
Belonging shapes who children are and who they can become. They can identify themselves by belonging to their family, cultural groups, neighbourhoods and the community. When a child understands that they are part of a group or feel as though they are part of a family you know they have grasped the concept of belonging.
Fun ways of demonstrating this in the curriculum are home corner settings where the children are encouraged to interact with each other and engaging the children in group times by having the educators and parents read stories to the children.
Other strategies that include belonging in your child’s day include being respectful and accepting, engaging and interacting with other children in positive relationships, appreciating the individuality of themselves and others and feeling a sense of security.
Different events and circumstances shape us as individuals during our childhood. By participating actively in society a child can learn through changes in their relationships, knowledge, understandings, identities and skills.
Becoming is all about a child growing up and moving through each stage of early childhood right through to preparing for school.
Becoming can be identified in your child’s day in activities like planting and gardening activities. Becoming is all about children participating fully and actively in society.
Elements of the EYLF curriculum like implementing school readiness, expanding of children’s skills, building foundations for learning, encouraging independence and focusing on a child’s positives all contribute to a child reaching the element of becoming.
The EYLF covers practices, learning outcomes and principles that aim to allow children to expand their horizons and grow up to be confident, caring, clever and well-adjusted beings. Understanding the EYLF will give you peace of mind about your child’s early education alongside their fun filled, nurtured and exciting days of care.