At Seagrass Early Learning, we facilitate a play-based program where children are free to choose from a wide range of developmentally appropriate activities. Although play-based, we also incorporate structured and often teacher initiated activities which increase in length and complexity as the year progresses, with the expectation, sometimes through encouragement, that children will participate at their developmental level.
Our education program is built upon the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the My Time, Our Place framework (MTOP).
What is EYLF?
The National Early Learning Years Framework is a set of guidelines that govern the curriculum and education approach of childcare facilities in Australia. The primary goal is to ensure each child is as ready for their school years as possible and caters for all areas of development including motor, cognitive and emotional skills. Focus is on fostering a hunger for learning, a love of life and an appreciation for diversity in community and environment.
There are five core areas of learning and development:
When there is a strong sense of security and trust, children act with increasing independence and perseverance to build a confident self-identity.
A child with a strong sense of wellbeing explores ways to show care and concern by interacting positively with others. They promote their own health and safety and that of others.
When children are connected and contributing to their world, they build positive relationships with others and show increasing respect for diversity and the different environments in which they find themselves.
5. Active Learning
Children who are confident and involved in learning build a positive disposition towards their education and engage in imaginative and creative ways. Their enthusiasm allows them to explore tools and technologies and develop communication skills.
A child who is an effective communicator explores and expands ways to use language. They engage with numeracy and literacy in personal and meaningful ways.
What is MTOP?
The My Time, Our Place Framework is for school age care and is important both for transition to school and school age attendants. It extends the principles, practices and outcomes of the ELYF to the context of these more advanced age groups.
Meaningful play and leisure is the context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage with people, objects, ideas and the environment.The Framework ensures that children in school age care have opportunities to engage in leisure and play-based experiences which contribute fully to their ongoing development. Developing life skills and a sense of enjoyment are emphasised.
The Framework recognises the importance of social and emotional development and communication in learning through play and leisure, and it forms the foundation for ensuring that children in all school age care settings engage in quality experiences for rich learning, personal development and citizenship opportunities.
The themes of Belonging, Becoming and Being are emphasised through five principles:
1. Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
When children feel safe, secure, respected and given appropriate responsibility, they feel like valued members of the school age care community.
Effective communication builds the foundations of understanding about each other’s expectations and attitudes, and builds on the strength of each other’s knowledge.
3. High expectations and equity
Educators continually strive to find equitable and effective ways to ensure that all children have opportunities to experience a sense of personal worth and achieve outcomes.
4. Respect for diversity
Educators endeavour to understand the histories, cultures, languages, traditions, child rearing practices and lifestyle choices of families so they can better support children in their care.
5. Ongoing learning and reflective practice
A lively culture of professional inquiry is established through ongoing review of current practices and generation of new ideas. This assists in improving program quality, equity and children’s wellbeing.