What is the Early Years Learning Framework?

The Early Years Learning Framework is a national curriculum framework that guides educators in developing quality early childhood education programs.

Having this national framework helps consistency in the delivery of learning programs to young children around Australia. The framework describes three key elements – principles, practices and outcomes to support young children’s learning and then transition onto school, educators to reflect on their work and plan appropriate programs for all children in partnership with families.

The Early Years Learning Framework promotes childhood as a time of belonging, being and becoming:

  • Belonging – Children feeling they belong fosters confidence, security and safety to explore and learn. The importance of building relationships with their family, community, culture and place are interdependent to knowing where, whom and how they belong.
  • Being – Being in the here and now is significant to children’s self-discovery. Childhood is a special time in life and children need time to just ‘be’—time to have fun playing, try new things, making friends and enjoying the moment.
  • Becoming – the changes different experiences and circumstances in one’s life bring, help to shape one’s future. As children grow, learn and develop from their experiences they extend their understandings and building relationships which shape the type of adult they will become. Becoming emphasises learning to participate as active and informed citizens in society.

The Early Years Learning Framework – Principles

The principles within the framework underpin practice and reflect theorists, values and beliefs that guide us in progressing children towards achieving the Learning outcomes. The five principles are the following –

  • Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships.
  • Partnerships
  • High Expectations and equity
  • Respect for diversity
  • Ongoing learning and reflective practices

The Early Years Learning Framework – Practices

Practices guide educators how Principles are put into action working with children, their families and within our community. These practices set out a selection of pedagogical practices that help educators decide on the best delivery methods to help to learn in a way suited to them. These practices are outlined below.

  • Holistic approaches
  • Responsiveness to children.
  • Learning through play
  • Intentional teaching
  • Learning environments
  • Cultural competence
  • Continuity of learning and transitions
  • Assessment for learning

The Early Years Learning Framework Learning outcomes

These outcomes are what the children work towards developing as they grow through to their transition to school.

These are:

Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators

In early childhood, and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.’
Early Years Learning Framework p7