Belonging, being & becoming

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The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia

Information for families


A new, national early learning framework for children from birth to five years

What is this new learning framework about?

We have developed the Early Years Learning Framework to ensure your child receives quality education programs in their early childhood setting. This is a vital time for them to learn and develop.

The Framework‘s vision is for all children to experience play-based learning that is engaging and builds success for life.

It is a guide for early childhood educators who work with children from birth to five years. They will use the Framework in partnership with families, children’s first and most influential educators, to develop learning programs responsive to children’s ideas, interests, strengths and abilities, and recognise that children learn through their play.

The Early Years Learning Framework describes childhood as a time of belonging, being and becoming.

  • Belonging is the basis for living a fulfilling life. Children feel they belong because of the relationships they have with their family, community, culture and place.

  • Being is about living here and now. Childhood is a special time in life and children need time to just ‘be’—time to play, try new things and have fun.

  • Becoming is about the learning and development that young children experience. Children start to form their sense of identity from an early age, which shapes the type of adult they will become.

Play is learning

Play is very important for children. Through play babies and young children explore and learn to understand the world around them as they come to communicate, discover, imagine and create.

When children play they are showing what they have learned and what they are trying to understand. This is why play is one of the foundations of the Early Years Learning Framework.

By using this Framework educators will guide your child’s play by carefully designing learning activities and stimulating indoor and outdoor learning environments.

“I want my child to have lots of opportunities for creative play”

Relationships are key

It is well known that children learn best when they have secure relationships with caring adults. When children from a very early age develop trusting relationships they feel more confident and able to explore and learn.

In early childhood settings, when children feel emotionally secure they learn through play to develop the skills and understandings they need to interact positively with others and gradually learn to take responsibility.

How will it work?

Educators will use this new Framework in a range of early childhood settings, including long day care, preschools and family day care to ensure that your child receives a high quality experience. It has been created and trialled by experienced early childhood educators, academics, parents and carers.

The Framework focuses on your child’s learning. Educators will work with you in order to get to know your child well. They will create a learning program that builds on your child’s interests and abilities, and keep you in touch with your child’s progress.

Through the Framework’s five learning goals educators will assist your child to develop:

  • a strong sense of their identity

  • connections with their world

  • a strong sense of wellbeing

  • confidence and involvement in their learning; and

  • effective communication skills.

“The learning outcomes are positive and help me to think about how my child is progressing”

Watching your child’s progress

Using the Early Years Learning Framework educators will observe your child’s learning so they can build on it and plan the next steps. They will do this by listening, watching and talking to your child.

They will keep in touch with you regularly to discuss your child’s progress. They may use photos or keep a folder of your child’s work to show what your child is learning,, how they are developing and what particular learning interests them.

Before your child starts school educators will prepare information about your child’s learning and development to share with their new teacher. This will help ensure that your child’s new school is well prepared to continue your child’s learning.

“The Framework helps me to understand how skilled the staff at my centre are and what a great support they are to me and my family”

Working together

By working together parents and educators can enhance a child’s learning and wellbeing. As the most important person in your child’s life you can make a difference by talking regularly with your child’s early childhood educator and asking about their learning. Information you provide allows educators to link your child’s experiences at home with the time they spend together in the early childhood setting.

Find out more

This booklet is an introduction to the Early Years Learning Framework.

To find out more or to access translations visit or ask your child’s early childhood educator.

Produced by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for the Council of Australian Governments.

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