Our Framework - the NQF NQS EYLF
The National Quality Framework
Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) are regarded as the first step in the process of education, which is fundamental to the strength of any country’s social wellbeing and economic future. It is an accepted fact that the early years of childhood are a critical period in every child’s life. The relationships, experiences and environment a child is exposed to in these early years are essential to their long term health, development, learning and wellbeing. (Rosback & Wilson 2012 p.5)
Recent government initiatives focus attention on the provision of services for young children and families, calling for the raising of standards to ensure the delivery of consistent, accessible, high quality services across the country.
The National Quality Framework came into operation at the beginning of 2012 with key requirements being phased in over time. Qualification requirements, educator-to-child ratios and other key staffing arrangements will be phased in between 2012 and 2020. The National Quality Framework incorporates the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), the National Quality Standard (NQS) and the associated regulatory system. It is important to remember that preschools have not undertaken an assessment and rating process before and initially can present some challenges. It is also important to remember that, although the Standard applies to all services covered by the National Quality Framework, our service and setting is unique in many ways. The NQS aims for Heathdene to think about our unique circumstances, the strengths and the challenges and about our practices to help us to meet the Standards. As part of this process of self assessment a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) is required and it is a document that needs to be reviewed annually. It is used on an ongoing basis in discussions in staff meetings to further improve our service. All educators and staff are involved in the assessment.
The National Quality Standard
The National Quality Standard sets a new benchmark for quality education and care services. It gives families a better understanding of a quality service. This enables families to make informed decisions about the services providing education and care to their child.
The National Quality Standard brings together seven quality areas that are important to outcomes for children.
QA1 Educational program and practice
QA2 Children’s health and safety
QA3 Physical environment
QA4 Staffing arrangements
QA5 Relationships with children
QA6 Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
QA7 Leadership and service management
Under the National Quality Standard, all services must prepare a Quality Improvement Plan annually that includes a self-assessment of the quality of the practices of the service against the National Quality Standard and the National Regulations. Our Quality Improvement Plan is located in the preschool front office.
Rating and Assessment Process
Services will be assessed and rated against each of the seven quality areas of the National Quality Standard and the National Regulations. They will also be given an overall rating. The rating and assessment process aims to drive continuous quality improvement at services and provide families with better information for making choices about their children’s education and care.
Early Years Learning Framework
The Early Years Learning Framework is the national curriculum of Early Childhood Education. The aim of this framework is to extend and enrich children’s learning with a strong emphasis on play-based learning from birth to five years and through the transition to school. The Early Years Learning Framework was developed to assist educators to provide young children with opportunities to maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future success in learning. Our preschool uses the EYLF to reflect on our practices and guide our program.
Fundamental to the Early Years Learning Framework is a view of children’s lives as characterised by belonging, being and becoming. The curriculum has five learning outcomes that are designed to capture the integrated and complex learning and development of all children across the birth to five-age range. The practice of the Early Years Learning Framework involves educators drawing on a rich repertoire of educational practices to promote children’s learning by:
Being responsive to children
Planning and implementing learning through play
Creating physical and social learning environments that have a positive impact on children’s learning
Valuing the cultural and social contexts of children and their families
Providing for continuity in experiences and enabling children to have successful transitions
Assessing and monitoring children’s learning to inform provision and to support children in achieving learning outcomes
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 identities
Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect
Outcome 2: Children are connected to 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 disposition 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, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising
researching and investigating.
Children transfer and adapt what they have learned from one contact to another
Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed
Outcome 5: Children are effective learners
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 made meaning using a range of media
Children begin to understand how symbols and patter systems work
Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their
You will see these outcomes reflected in the documentation of the work that the children do at preschool.
Underpinning the Framework are 5 Principles:
Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
High Expectations and Equity
Respect for Diversity
Ongoing Learning and Reflective Practice.
Belonging, Being, Becoming
A VISION FOR CHILDREN’S LEARNING
All children experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life.
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. The 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.
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 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.
“You belong in your house with your family.” – Dong
Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world.
“If you want to be a mermaid you can imagine.” – Jazmine
“When children play they are showing what they have learned and what they are trying to understand.” 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 about the present.
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.
“When you can keep planting plants you become a gardener.” – Olivia
(Belonging, Being & Becoming, the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia)
Please go to our Links page if you would like any more information on the NQF, the NQS or the EYLF.