The following outline of the NQF, NQS and the EYLF is derived from Community Child Care’s publication ” Rattler” (Issue 94, Winter, 2010)
The National Quality Framework provides a national direction for all Services aimed at ensuring high quality, consistent early childhood education and school aged care across Australia.
A legal framework supports the NQF’s introduction . The Education and Care Services National Regulation and Law will replace the licensing and regulation processes in each State and Territory.
The National Quality Standard , which is part of the NQF, is applied to seven quality areas in Early Childhood services and Out of Hours School Care services:
- educational program and practice
- children’s health and safety
- physical environment
- staffing arrangements (ratios and qualifications)
- relationships with children
- collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- governance and leadership
The National Authority ACECQA provides information on the NQF and the NQS via their website: www.acecqa.gov.au
The Learning Frameworks
The EYLF (Early Years learning Framework) is the first national learning framework for Early Childhood Education.
This learning framework is focused on “all the interactions, experiences, activities, routines and events, planned and unplanned, that occur in an environment designed to foster children’s learning and development” (adapted from Te Whariki, NZ).
The EYLF recognises that a child’s experience in their first 5 years sets the course for the rest of their lives (Arian Ploeg, Project Officer, Community Child Care).
It will guide the practice of all early childhood educators in all early childhood settings but it is not a “one size or one way fits all” document.
It is meant to encourage Educators to reflect on their own practice and to be open to trying new things.
Joy Lubway likens the EYLF to building a house. Every house needs a basic framework but the design is up to us (and of course the children who inspire us).
The EYLF is based on three interwoven concepts:
- Belonging -feeling part of a family, a group or a community, feeling the security of consistent relationships and feeling attachment to safe and predictable environments.
- Being -young children are very attuned to the present and are engaged with the people and the environment around them.
- Becoming- acknowledging the changes, growth and development of understanding as well as the “challenges associated with learning to participate as a member of a group (family, community or culture).”(ECA “EYLF: Getting Started” Joy Goodfellow, 2009).
There are 5 very positive Learning Outcomes associated with the EYLF.
- Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
- Outcome 2: Children are connected to and contribute to their world
- Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
- Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
- Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators
As Early Childhood Educators we are constantly:
- looking at what we do now to address each outcome
- deciding which areas we need to focus more on
- thinking about actions we could take or changes we could make to reflect each outcome
- thinking about how we will gather evidence that will tell us we are making a difference
- reflecting on how the EYLF has challenged our thinking and actions.
My Time Our Place is the national Learning Framework for Out of Hours School Care.