What is the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)?
3 May 2023
Belonging, Being, Becoming – these three words form the foundation of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). Read on for our breakdown of this vital early education resource.
It’s easy to get lost in the sea of early education terminology from government subsidies to the countless regulatory bodies and quality advisors. However, one term you should know about is the Early Learning Years Framework (EYLF).
This comprehensive early education framework extends and enriches early education for children aged from birth to five years.
But as a 70 page Government document, it’s not exactly a quick read. To save you the time, we’ve broken down the EYLF to provide an insight into how it guides our Explorers curriculum from the nursery all the way up to those embarking on their primary school journey.
Creating the EYLF
In 2009, the Department of Education published Belonging, Being & Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF). While a historic moment as it was Australia’s first national Early Years Learning Framework, it was redeveloped and expanded into a V2.0 in 2022.
This national framework was developed by the Council of Australian Governments to provide a shared understanding of the foundational principles, practices, and outcomes for early childhood education and care in Australia. The EYLF is based on scientific research and empirical evidence to support all children’s education from birth to age five.
Three key principles form the foundation of the EYLF:
- Being: the importance of children’s experiences in the present moment. Children learn through play, exploration, and communication. These experiences are essential to their overall development and can’t be overlooked.
- Belonging: the need for children to feel connected to their family, community, and culture. When children feel a sense of belonging, they’re more likely to feel safe and supported in their educational environment. This principle recognises children as deeply influenced by their social and cultural context.
- Becoming: children are constantly growing and changing. Children aren’t passive recipients of knowledge, but rather active participants in their own learning and development. This principle recognises that children are competent and independent learners – a fundamental concept to the Reggio Emilia approach to early education.
Victorian Early Years Learning Framework (VEYLF)
While the EYLF is a national framework for early childhood education and care, the VEYLF caters for Victorian children specifically. However, it’s still based on the EYLF and its core principles. The VEYLF also includes additional information and guidance on the learning and development of children from birth to eight years of age.
Although both frameworks share similar goals and outcomes, the VEYLF places a greater emphasis on the development of children from birth to three years of age and focuses on cultural diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. Also, the VEYLF provides more specific guidance on how early childhood educators can support children’s learning and development in Victoria’s cultural and social context.
Five Learning Outcomes of the EYLF
The EYLF identifies five learning outcomes for children. These outcomes support children’s development and learning holistically:
- Children have a strong sense of identity.
- Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
- Children have a strong sense of wellbeing.
- Children are confident and involved learners.
- Children are effective communicators.
Explorers and the EYLF
The EYLF outlines a range of experiences and activities designed to support children’s education and growth across the five key outcomes. These experiences and activities are varied and may include music, art, outdoor play, and social interaction.
At Explorers, we embrace the power of experiences and actively embed them into our curriculum through our Enrichment Program. This Program focuses on five key areas:
- Little Impressionists – Art
- Little Linguists – Language
- Active Explorers – Physical Activity
- Prep for Prep – School Readiness
- One World, One Planet – Sustainability
Moreover, we encourage project-based learning as part of our Reggio Emilia inspired curriculum. These projects often take the form of science and the arts to form a comprehensive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) learning experience.
Music, for example, helps children expand their language and communication skills, as well as their coordination and rhythm. Likewise, science and numeracy prepare children for their academic journey in primary school, secondary school and beyond.
EYLF and the Importance of Community
Importantly, these activities build meaningful relationships between children, providing valuable lessons they transition into social situations and the household. Likewise, Educators strive to build strong relationships with children and their families. These relationships ensure our Centres remain a safe, secure, and supportive environment in which children thrive.
As outlined in the EYLF, children feel comfortable and confident when valued, respected and exposed to appropriate learning challenges. Educators, therefore, stimulate discovery by identifying and tailoring learning experiences for children’s emerging interests.
Overall, the EYLF provides a comprehensive approach to early childhood education and care. The Framework emphasises the importance of exploration and communication in children’s learning and development. Most of all, it identifies the power of play which is essential to the development of healthy and happy children!