In the first few years of life, every second there are more than one million new neural connections being formed. In the child’s early years, this is when rapid brain development occurs. In addition, early experiences affect the quality of the resulting brain architecture, which can have long-term effects on a person’s long-term capacity, health and behaviour. 

That’s why parents and educators pay special attention to the children’s early years. During this period, the children’s experiences can have a profound and long-term effect on the kids’ long-term happiness and wellbeing. This clearly shows the importance of high-quality early childhood education where children can gain productive, fun and meaningful learning experiences. 

The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) 

To help children gain meaningful learning experiences, the Council of Australian Governments, with considerable input from the early childhood sector, early childhood academics and the Australian and State and Territory Governments, has developed a framework that recognises how vital early childhood is. 

The result is the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), which has been designed for use by early childhood educators working in partnership with families. The Framework has a specific emphasis on play-based learning where children are given more than adequate time for structured and unstructured play, while recognising the importance of early literacy and numeracy. 

In play-based learning, children are able to engage actively with people and objects as well as explore their environments. With this engagement, interaction and exploration, children can gain a rich and meaningful learning experience (learning in the real world). This also provides them with an abundance of opportunities to actively test their capabilities and pursue their interests. The result could be the early development of initiative, intrinsic motivation and independence, which could be critical factors for achieving long-term success. 

Elements of the Early Years Learning Framework 

EYLF has the following themes: 

  • Belonging 
  • Being 
  • Becoming 

In line with those themes, the main learning outcomes are: 

  • 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 

With those main learning outcomes, early childhood educators can create an appropriate curriculum and help children better reach their potential. For example, it’s important that children develop a strong sense of identity (the first learning outcome mentioned above). This way, they can feel confident and capable, especially when they’re about to face unfamiliar challenges and situations. This can help them learn and explore as well as develop independence, which can help them feel more comfortable in early learning centres and other outside environments. 

EYLF and school preparedness 

Earlier we mentioned that having a strong sense of identity can help children better face challenges and feel comfortable in different environments. Along with other learning outcomes in the Framework, this can also help children better prepare for the big school. 

In the big school, in addition to having early literacy and numeracy skills, children should have also developed some independence and self-reliance. There’s less supervision and guidance in the big school, which can make unprepared children feel lost and scared in that unfamiliar environment. This kind of environment can also feel overwhelming for children, which can hinder their learning and stop them from participating in interesting activities. 

Thankfully, adopting the Early Years Learning Framework can help children develop the essential traits for successfully navigating the big school. This can help them become more confident learners, which can help them do well in school as well as experience more fun along the way. 

How Chatterbox Childcare helps with school readiness 

Here at Chatterbox Early Learning and Child Care Centre, our curriculum is developed in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).  Our programs focus on the Learning Outcomes detailed in the EYLF. With this Framework, the commitment of our educators and the support of the children’s parents, we’re able to help children prepare for the big school. This also allows children gain more meaningful early experiences which can further support their rapid brain development.