VICTORIAN EARLY YEARS LEARNING CHILDREN AND

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VICTORIAN EARLYYEARS LEARNINGAND DEVELOPMENTFRAMEWORKFOR ALLCHILDRENFROM BIRTH TOEIGHT YEARS

Animal footprints show children and familieswalking proudly with culture in transition.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTOF COUNTRYThe Department of Education and Training(Victoria) and the Victorian Curriculum andAssessment Authority respectfully acknowledgeAboriginal people as the Traditional Owners ofthe land and waters now known as Victoria.We acknowledge the Victorian AboriginalElders and recognise their central place asknowledge holders and teachers across earlyyears learning communities.We honour this Acknowledgement throughout theVictorian Early Years Learning and DevelopmentFramework. We recognise and respect Aboriginalcultures and their unique place in Victoria’s past,present and future. Learning about Aboriginalcultures and valuing the place of Aboriginal peopleis essential to understanding and implementingthe Victorian Early Years Learning andDevelopment Framework, based on the principlesof equity and human rights.Published by the Department of Education and TrainingMelbourne 2016 State of Victoria (Department of Education and Training) 2016The copyright in this document is owned by the State ofVictoria (Department of Education and Training), or in the caseof some materials, by third parties (third party materials). Nopart may be reproduced by any process except in accordancewith the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, the NationalEducation Access Licence for Schools (NEALS) (see below) orwith permission.An educational institution situated in Australia which is notconducted for profit, or a body responsible for administeringsuch an institution may copy and communicate the materials,other than third party materials, for the educational purposesof the institution.We respectfully sought and were given approval forAcknowledgement of Country by Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy,Senior Elder of the Wurundjeri people.Authorised by the Department of Education and Training,2 Treasury Place, East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002.ISBN: 978-0-7594-0800-5

CONTENTSTHE FRAMEWORK: VISION AND PURPOSE2PROMOTING CHILDREN’S LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT (BIRTH TO EIGHT YEARS)2WHY BIRTH TO EIGHT YEARS?2A FRAMEWORK FOR ALL CHILDREN IN VICTORIA4LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT PATHWAYS6USING THE VEYLDF6PRACTICE PRINCIPLES FOR CHILDREN’S LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT7REFLECTIVE PRACTICE8PARTNERSHIPS WITH FAMILIES9HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR EVERY CHILD10RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIPS AND RESPONSIVE ENGAGEMENT11EQUITY AND DIVERSITY12ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT13INTEGRATED TEACHING AND LEARNING APPROACHES14PARTNERSHIPS WITH PROFESSIONALS16EARLY YEARS LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES17OUTCOME 1: CHILDREN HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF IDENTITY18OUTCOME 2: CHILDREN ARE CONNECTED WITH AND CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR WORLD19OUTCOME 3: CHILDREN HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF WELLBEING20OUTCOME 4: CHILDREN ARE CONFIDENT AND INVOLVED LEARNERS21OUTCOME 5: CHILDREN ARE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATORS22SUPPORTING CHILDREN’S TRANSITIONS23WHAT DOES EFFECTIVE TRANSITION LOOK LIKE?24WHO IS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS OF TRANSITION?24SUPPORTING CHILDREN’S LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT THROUGH TRANSITIONS25TRANSITION: A POSITIVE START TO SCHOOL NDIX 1: OVERVIEW OF THE ROLES OF EARLY CHILDHOOD PROFESSIONALSSUPPORTING YOUNG CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (BIRTH TO EIGHT YEARS)28APPENDIX 2: OVERVIEW OF EARLY CHILDHOOD SERVICES (BIRTH TO EIGHT YEARS)30APPENDIX 3: OVERVIEW OF RESOURCES THAT SUPPORT BEST PRACTICE OF EARLY YEARS PROFESSIONALS30APPENDIX 4: BIBLIOGRAPHY31APPENDIX 5: GLOSSARY35VICTORIAN EARLY YEARS LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK - THREE ELEMENTS38ATTACHMENT 1: ILLUSTRATIVE MAPS FROM THE VEYLDF TO THE VICTORIAN CURRICULUM F - 1039

THE FRAMEWORK:VISION AND PURPOSEPROMOTING CHILDREN’S LEARNING ANDDEVELOPMENT: BIRTH TO EIGHT YEARSThe Victorian Early Years Learning and DevelopmentFramework (VEYLDF) adopts a comprehensiveapproach to children’s learning and development.The VEYLDF recognises health as a crucial enabler forlearning and development from birth.The VEYLDF recognises children’s wellbeing from birthas both a prerequisite for and an outcome of learning.Supportive relationships and active skill building withadults in their family and community are central tochildren’s wellbeing.The VEYLDF upholds the image of the child as a rightsholder and a competent learner with capacities to learnfrom birth.The VEYLDF sets out outcomes and practices to guideearly childhood professionals1 in their work with allfamilies and their young children from birth.Supporting children to progress toward theseoutcomes, in conjunction with their families, is thecore of the VEYLDF.WHY BIRTH TO EIGHT YEARS?Research over the past few decades hasrevealed how the human brain is biologicallyprimed for learning from birth. The earlychildhood period of children’s lives hasa profound impact on their learning anddevelopment for the long term. From birthto eight years, children’s developing brainsundergo rapid change. This is when childrenhave the greatest opportunities to developneural pathways for learning and are alsomost vulnerable to negative experiences.Research underscores the imperative forcomprehensive and integrated systems thatsupport children’s learning and development,health and wellbeing in partnership withfamilies. Emphasis is placed on continuityof learning for young children as they movebetween various settings in the early years,including home, early childhood services andschool. An informed understanding of thescience of early learning and developmentguides adults on what children need to thriveand the systems that best support this.BIRTH TO THREE YEARS1 The term early childhoodprofessionals in this documentincludes, but is not limitedto, maternal and child healthnurses, all early childhoodpractitioners who workdirectly with children in earlychildhood education and caresettings (educators), schoolteachers, family supportworkers, preschool fieldofficers, inclusion supportfacilitators, student supportservice officers, primaryschool nurses, primary welfareofficers, early childhoodintervention workers,play therapists, healthprofessionals and teachersworking in hospitals, andeducation officers incultural organisations.Research also demonstrates the importanceof the first three years of life in shapinglearning and development. From birth, earlyexperiences and relationships influencechildren’s long term outcomes and lifechances. This includes the development ofexecutive functioning and the capacity toexperience, regulate and express emotion,to form close, secure and satisfyingrelationships and to explore, discover andlearn about themselves and the world aroundthem (Institute of Medicine, 2015; AIHW, 2015).This is important foundational knowledgefor all early childhood professionals tounderstand and apply in their work withfamilies and children across birth toeight years.VICTORIAN EARLY YEARS LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK2

The vision and purpose of the VEYLDF is to guideearly childhood professionals in a collective effortwith families toward the achievement of the nationallyagreed Early Years Learning Outcomes (Early YearsLearning Framework for Australia, 2009) where children: have a strong sense of identity are connected with and contributeto their world have a strong sense of wellbeing are confident and involved learners are effective communicators.The VEYLDF describes each of these Outcomes forchildren from birth to eight years, linking the learningoutcomes from the Early Years Learning Frameworkfor Australia to the first three levels of the VictorianCurriculum F-10. Illustrative maps (Attachment 1) areprovided as examples to support continuity of learning.The Outcomes provide a shared language for all earlychildhood professionals and families to use whenplanning for children’s learning and development.The VEYLDF identifies eight Practice Principles forLearning and Development, which describe the mosteffective ways for early childhood professionals to worktogether and with children and families to facilitatelearning and development. The Practice Principlesare based on the pedagogy of the Early Years LearningFramework for Australia and evidence about thebest ways to support children’s learning, developmentand wellbeing.The VEYLDF emphasises the importance ofsupporting children’s and families’ transitions asthey move within and across services throughoutthe early childhood period.The following image developed by Annette Sax(Taungurung) (Figure 1) depicts the three elements ofthe VEYLDF: the Practice Principles, the Outcomes, andTransitions and continuity for children and families.The child is at the centre surrounded by family, kin andearly childhood professionals who support children’slearning and development. A detailed story descriptionby Dr Sue Lopez Atkinson (Yorta Yorta) of the symbolsto accompany this artwork is included on Page 38 ofthis document.PR ACTICEPRINCIPLOUTCOMESESFIGURE 1Annette Sax (Taungurung) 2016VICTORIAN EARLY YEARS LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORKTRANSIOTIN3

A FRAMEWORK FOR ALLCHILDREN IN VICTORIAThe VEYLDF guides early childhood professionals towork together with families in support of their children,embracing and responding to the cultural and linguisticdiversity of the Victorian community and diverseapproaches to child rearing.In particular, the VEYLDF: recognises and respects Aboriginal cultures and theirunique place in the heritage and future of Victoria.Learning about and valuing the place of Aboriginalpeople will enhance all Victorian children’s sense ofplace in our community celebrates the wealth of learning and experience thatis available within local communities acknowledges that every child will take a unique pathtoward achieving the five Outcomes, and that allchildren will require different levels of support, somerequiring significantly more than others draws upon the United Nations Convention on theRights of Persons with Disabilities seeks to recognise all children as rights holders andfull members of society, capable of participating intheir social worlds through their relationship withothers. These rights, expressed in the United NationsConvention on the Rights of the Child (1989), are: the right to life and development the right to be heard the right to non-discrimination the right for the best interests of the childto be upheld.These principles are consistent with contemporaryearly childhood research, and are embedded withinthe practices espoused in this Framework.The VEYLDF draws upon the Early Childhood AustraliaCode of Ethics 2016, and the Australian Human RightsCommission publication: Supporting Young Children’sRights Statement of Intent (2015-2018).In this way the VEYLDF: is part of an integrated set of reforms aimedat supporting young children’s learning anddevelopment sets a cohesive inclusion agenda and providesinformation about each Outcome, including howthe Outcomes relate to the first three levels of theVictorian Curriculum F- 10 in schools includes Practice Principles to guide evidence-basedpractices in the early years.VICTORIAN EARLY YEARS LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK4

All children influence and are affected by theenvironments that surround them. The EcologicalModel underpinning this Framework acknowledgesthe life of each child within a social, environmental,political and economic context (see Figure 2). This modelillustrates the strong network of community, servicesand programs that support children’s learningand development.Each child at the centre of the Ecological Model isunique, active, and engaged in their own learning anddevelopment within their local context, shaped by theirfamily, culture and experience. Families and kinship members have primary influenceon their children’s learning and development. Theyprovide children with the relationships, opportunitiesand experiences that shape each child’s sense ofbelonging, being and becoming Each adult around the child learns, leads, supportsand actively invests in the child’s success. Eachprofessional who engages with a child and theirfamily has a part to play Local community, cultural events, spaces and theiraccessibility, reinforce a sense of belonging andwellbeing for a child and their tservicesPlaces milyEarly childhoodeducation and tynrvicultural influandpeisaChildCulturalleadersParksor ksehnetwedtymironalntmsocial and eical,nvitiloronpmic,ents,esncBroadereconoC The broad interrelated system and policy settingsreflect a vision for children’s learning anddevelopment through the five tionsFigure: EcologicalMODELmodel of childdevelopmentadaptedfrom Bronfenbrenner,1979FIGURE 2: ECOLOGICAL(adaptedfromBronfenbrenner1979)Children learn about themselves and construct their own identity within the context of theirfamilies and communities. This includes their relationships with people, places and thingsand the actions and responses of others. Identity is not fixed. It is shaped by experiences.When children have positive experiences they develop an understanding of themselves assignificant and respected, and feel a sense of belonging. Relationships are the foundationsfor the construction of identity – ‘who I am’, ‘how I belong’ and ‘what is my influence?’(Belonging, Being and Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia p.20)VICTORIAN EARLY YEARS LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK5

LEARNING ANDDEVELOPMENT PATHWAYSChildren and families in Victoria have access to a rangeof services. Maternal and child health nurses and otherhealth professionals work with families throughout theearly years of each child’s life. Families are encouragedto access a range of early childhood services, includingplaygroups, early childhood education and care, outsideschool hours care, and kindergarten programs, aswell as sporting, community education and culturalorganisations. Cultural organisations include libraries,museums, botanic gardens, galleries and zoos. All theseservices provide a wide range of experiences thatenhance children’s learning and development.Targeted and intensive services provide additionalsupport for children and families. These include childand family services, supported playgroups, early startkindergarten, and a range of community, primary andspecialist health services.USING THE VEYLDFThe VEYLDF provides a common language to describeyoung children’s learning, and common principlesto guide practice. It complements the range ofdiscipline-specific resources that support earlychildhood professionals working with children andfamilies at Appendix 2 (online). An outline of theprofessional learning resources developed since 2010 tosupport early childhood professionals implementing theVEYLDF is provided in Appendix 3 (online).The VEYLDF is also supported by eight PracticePrinciple Evidence Papers and eight Practice PrincipleGuides developed in partnership with early childhoodprofessionals. These resources provide detailed practiceexamples, case studies and guidance about how thePractice Principles can be used to support children’slearning and development.Children’s learning and development pathways areintegrated, cumulative and subject to change over time.Throughout the first eight years of children’s lives, earlychildhood professionals collect important informationabout their learning and development. Families andprofessionals should access and share this informationin order to build a complete picture of the child.The unique attributes of each child, be they cultural,behavioural, physical, intellectual, linguistic, socioemotional, and the child’s own perspectives andvoice, must be taken into account when assessingtheir learning and development. This informationassists professionals, with families, to determinethe appropriate evidence base to guide and reviseprograms serving the family and child. Early childhoodprofessionals learn about the family’s priorities fortheir child. They understand the child’s attachment,attention, engagement, social interactions, physicalhealth, disability, conceptual understanding, languageand communication. They are well placed to furtherchildren’s learning and development. For example, whenteachers in primary school classrooms know what achild’s learning and development life pattern has beenbefore they start school, they are well placed to continueto scaffold the child’s learning.VICTORIAN EARLY YEARS LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK6

PRACTICE PRINCIPLES FOR CHILDREN’SLEARNING AND DEVELOPMENTWhen children, within their families and local community,are provided with opportunities, experiences andencouragement, their learning and development arepositively supported.The Practice Principles: promote personal and collective acknowledgementof each child’s identity, culture, and spirit2 support professionals to act in the best interestsof children guide early childhood professionals as they respondsensitively and positively to each child.A key role of each early childhood professional is tobuild children’s confidence, sense of wellbeing andsecurity, and their motivation to engage actively inlearning with others.The Practice Principles are based on contemporaryinternational evidence about the best ways to supportchildren’s learning and development. They areinterrelated and designed to inform each other. ThePractice Principles were developed in the context of: the pedagogy of the Early Years Learning Frameworkfor Australia the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers(AITSL, 2013)PRACTICE PRINCIPLES - STORY DESCRIPTION the Australian Professional Standard for Principalsand the Leadership Profiles (AITSL, 2014).Bunjil the Eagle and Waa the Crow represent Aboriginalculture and partnerships with families. The water hole symbolises reflective practice.The eight interrelated Practice Principles are: The gum leaves with their different patterns and coloursrepresent diversity. The stones underneath the leaves represent equity.They reflect the additional support put in place in orderfor all children to achieve. The child and adults standing on ‘Ochre mountain’symbolise the high/equitable expectations we hold forchildren and adults. The family standing on and looking out from‘Ochre mountain’ reflects assessment for learningand development. Such assessments draw on children’sand families’ perspectives, knowledge, experiencesand expectations. The child and adult figures also represent partnershipswith professionals. The land symbol as mother earth representsthe basis for respectful relationships andresponsive engagement. The symbols for land, water and people signify holisticand integrated approaches based on connections toClan and Country. Reflective practice Partnerships with families High expectations for every child Respectful relationships and responsive engagement Equity and diversity Assessment for learning and development Integrated teaching and learning approaches Partnerships with professionals.2 Spirit refers to humanexploration of being andknowing, a sense of awe andwonder, a search for purposeand meaning within a range ofhuman experiences.VICTORIAN EARLY YEARS LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK7

REFLECTIVE PRACTICEReflecting on and critically evaluating practice is acore part of all early childhood professionals’ work.It is at the heart of maintaining a learning culturein a service, setting or network and is linked withcontinuous improvement.A positive culture with respect for others and a collectivepurpose is likely to advance the agreed outcomes forchildren’s learning and development. Such a culture willsupport the identification of and access to professionallearning and development resources necessary toimprove professional skills and practices.Individually and collectively, early ch

victorian early years learning and development framework - three elements 38 attachment 1: illustrative maps from the veyldf to the victorian curriculum f - 10 39. vict amework 2 the framework: vision and purpose why bir