‘Childcare’ is often referred to as ‘Early Education and Care’ because Government approved childcare services follow a properly developed curriculum. Most long day care and family day care centres across Australia use the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) as a framework to develop their own early childhood curriculum.
The EYLF guides early childhood educators in developing quality, early childhood education programs. This is essential as children learn more during their first 5 years than at any other time in their life. That’s why it’s key to provide your child with opportunities to learn and develop every day.
Belonging, Being and Becoming are three key concepts of EYLF. With a strong emphasis on play-based learning, EYLF concentrates on communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy) and social and emotional development. The aim of the EYLF is also to help ensure that all young Australians become:
- Successful learners
- Confident and creative individuals
- Active and informed citizens
It’s important for you to have a basic understanding of the EYLF so you can be sure it’s being implemented at the childcare service you choose. Some good questions to ask include;
- Do you offer play-based learning environments?
- How do you plan for, observe and evaluate my child’s learning?
- How do you provide an environment that recognises my child’s individual interests and build on them?
The EYLF was developed by the state and territory governments with input from the childcare and early education sector, and early childhood academics, to make sure there’s consistency across Australia.
A Families’ Guide to EYLF has been developed and is available on the Department of Education and Training website. For more information, visit www.education.gov.au/early-years-learning-framework.