The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) provides broad direction for Early Childhood Educators to facilitate children's learning. It is a recognised Curriculum model and has been adopted by Walkerston Day Care as our primary curriculum framework.
The EYLF is a comprehensive document developed by early learning professionals and academics. It was adopted by the Council of Australian Governments in 2009 and has led to broad and meaningful changes in the Early Childhood Learning field. It is supported by a range of additional documents and professional development resources.
Making Learning 'Visible'
Learning should also be visible – so we document the learning and make it available for our children, our colleagues and our families so that everyone can see and contribute to the learning.
Documentation takes many forms (eg art, conversations, photographs, learning stories, group observations etc) and allows a showcase for the children's skills, dispositions and abilities. In us all taking an interest in this display of the children's learning, we're demonstrating how proud we are of them and their 'being' and 'becoming'. We can also further develop our curriculum based upon the children's ongoing interests.
Reflection And Continuous Improvement
Our practices and documentation also allow us to 'reflect', which is a critical part of our professional practice as Early Childhood Educators – ensuring we are constantly reviewing what we do, how we do it, what we learned, what more we can learn, then researching and devising new opportunities for scaffolding and extending learning opportunities for the children and our learning community. Leading to the reality that we are all 'Learners' here Walkerston Daycare!
Play Based Learning
We offer a play-based learning environment as play is a recognised, valued process for children's learning, thinking, imagination, story making and communication. As Early Childhood Educators, we seek out resources and information and then modify the environment ensuring that we continually develop our play spaces as the children's interests change and create spaces that:
• Provide an unhurried environment where children have time to explore and extend their investigations
• Are responsive to children's cues and the way they use the environment and materials
• Are inviting with open-ended materials
• Extend children's interests and learning
• Allow for Educators to model and provide instruction when required
• Allow for Educators to offer suggestions and encourage children to learn from each other
The play of young children includes many different types including sensory, explorative, physical, creative, symbolic, projective, role play, dramatic play and games with rules. All are important aspects of children's learning and development. Our "play based" program is also designed to:
• Encourage children to develop an understanding of their social worlds. They can learn to trust, form attachments, share, negotiate, take turns, take risks and resolve conflict.
• Provide children with opportunities to express a sense of agency and demonstrate their competence and be leaders in their own learning by offering choices and the ability to self-select resources and other play items.
• Offer a sense of belonging and being – supporting the development of children's individual and social identity.
• Give children the opportunity to use play to participate in their culture - to develop the ability to express their culture.
• Allow children to order the events in their lives and to share those events with others.
• Allow adults (particularly Educators) to interact with and observe children – gaining insights into their interests, skills and knowledge