Early Years Learning Framework

Fundamental to the Framework is a view of children’s lives as characterised by belonging, being and becoming. From before birth children are connected to family, community, culture and place. Their earliest development and learning takes place through these relationships, particularly within families, who are children’s first and most influential educators. As children participate in everyday life, they develop interests and construct their own identities and understandings of the world.  

Belonging

Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining their identities. 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.  

Being

Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world. Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children’s lives. It is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, engaging with life’s joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life. The early childhood years are not solely preparation for the future but also very much about the present.    

Becoming

Children’s identities, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships change during childhood. They are shaped by many different events and circumstances. Becoming reflects this process of rapid and significant change that occurs in the early years as young children learn and grow. It emphasises learning to participate fully and actively in society.  

Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity

  • Children feel safe, secure, and supported
  • Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency
  • Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities
  • Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect  

Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world

  • Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation
  • Children respond to diversity with respect
  • Children become aware of fairness
  • Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment

Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing

  • Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing
  • Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing

Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners

  • Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity
  • Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, enquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating
  • Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another
  • Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials

Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators

  • Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
  • Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts
  • Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media
  • Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking