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Why is the Early Years Learning Framework Important?
The children’s early years is a period of rapid brain development where the core brain architecture and critical neural connections are being formed. As a result, it’s important to support and enhance the children’s learning and development through those critical years.
About the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)
In line with that, the EYLF was formulated and implemented in early childhood education and care. It’s a set of principles, practices and outcomes that guide early childhood education centres and educators in helping young children learn and prepare and transition to formal schooling.
The teaching practices, guidance and the environment align with the outcomes set in the EYLF. The outcomes are about helping children have a strong sense of identity, connect with and contribute to their world, have a strong sense of wellbeing, become confident and involved learners and become effective communicators.
Notice that there’s no emphasis on literacy, numeracy or academics in general. Also notice that the emphasis is on the self and then becoming a part of a group or community (Being then Belonging). Finally, it’s about Becoming by having a strong sense of identity as well as being confident and a good communicator (and being connected and an active contributor to their world).
To achieve those outcomes related to Belonging, Being and Becoming, the emphasis is on play-based learning. That’s because this approach requires rich interaction with objects, the environment and other children. With this interaction, their ability to form social connections and cooperate is being developed and enhanced. They also learn and feel that they’re a part of something (Belonging) and early on they learn the value of care, empathy and respect.
In other words, the framework has an emphasis on becoming a human first (not just becoming a part of the workforce in the future). With this play-based or human-centric approach, we actually help advance our children’s development. This way, early on they will gain rich and fun experiences today while also best preparing them for the future.