Every child deserves the opportunity to learn through play and feel loved and nurtured. Each is worthy of enjoying their childhood with the support of parents, carers, communities and, importantly, early childhood education providers.
Children’s Week is a week that is dedicated to celebrating the needs, rights and achievements of children. It strongly advocates for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child. Running from Saturday 21 October to Sunday 29 October 2023, get inspired by Children’s Week and remember just how impactful a high-quality early childhood education can be in laying the crucial foundations for a child’s love of lifelong learning.
Every educator has the chance to make a meaningful difference to a child’s life, and with adequate training and support they can continue to contribute to shaping the future for the youngest members of our communities.
The crucial first five years
The first five years of a child’s growth are the most critical period of development for the human brain. More wiring takes place during this time than any other in life. These first five years are also when children spend time — sometimes quite a lot of time — in the care of early childhood educators. This means that educators and their approach to care can contribute to many aspects of a child’s future and how they see and explore the world around them.
At Selmar, it is our firm belief that access to quality early childhood education is:
- The right of every child
- The right of every future adult
- Of benefit to society on every level
- A driver of tangible economic benefits in society
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) supports early childhood educators in achieving the very best outcomes for children during this fundamental stage of development. Its five learning and development outcomes cover five central outcomes that have been identified to ensure that children are empowered and have their rights and needs fulfilled.
The five EYLF outcome areas are:
- Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
- Outcome 2: Children are connected with 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
The opportunity to access quality early childhood education and learning experiences plays a pivotal role not just for children’s early learning, but for their lifelong development.
This is particularly true for children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances who may need additional support via early childhood education to gain the skills needed to thrive in future educational settings such as primary school and beyond.
The meaningful impact of early childhood educators in lifelong learning
Providing children with every opportunity to access an engaging and fulfilling early childhood education during their time of rapid and significant development, requires the dedication of early childhood educators.
Educators should take a holistic and play-based approach to the care and education they provide, guided by the Early Learning Framework outcomes mentioned earlier. Let’s explore some real-life examples of how educators design learning experiences in seeking to meet these outcomes.
Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
Children look to find a sense of belonging in developing their identities. Educators should strive to promote the shared connectedness children have through celebrating Australia while also developing their individual identities through encouraging pride in their diverse families, cultures, backgrounds and circumstances.
Providing care that makes children feel safe, secure and supported through comfortable relationships with educators also contributes to a child’s sense of identity. Children should simultaneously be encouraged to explore their independence from this safe space and feel capable of expressing their feelings.
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Building from that sense of inclusivity and connectedness that strengthens children’s identities and encourages them to respect diversity. Creating a strong sense of community within services and the local community helps children connect with their world.
Create experiences that help them to contribute to it too. This can be planting trees, visiting local parks and even getting close with their local area through bush kinder experiences.
Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Wellbeing encompasses physical and psychological health, both of which are enormously important in development and lifelong learning.
Eating well, getting physical exercise, understanding how to identify and manage emotions, feeling happy and confident in their environments and being guided to build resilience — these are all contributors to developing a strong sense of wellbeing in children.
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
Educators should seek to provide learning experiences that cover a variety of approaches to ensure every child’s individual learning style or preferred learning environment is met. A child’s active involvement is the ideal outcome for optimal learning and every child is different.
Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators
Effective communication is central to any lifelong learning across every age. Communication is the capacity to share thoughts and ideas and is essential from literacy to numeracy, and languages spoken at home as well as English. It can include non-verbal, verbal and written communication, so educators can explore books, dance, Auslan, singing and more.
The guidance of strong educators can help children develop across a variety of areas and give them the knowledge and tools to be able to reach their full potential and flourish.
Lifelong learning in early childhood education
When we consider just how much of a difference high-quality early childhood education can have on a child’s development and growth, the quality of care and commitment from each individual educator becomes even more apparent. No matter your current age or qualifications, every day there is something new to learn, which is why continuing to undertake professional and personal development ventures and exploring upskill options are vital.
Every step of the study journey is carefully considered here at Selmar. It is a privilege for us to be able to train individuals to become skilled, caring and compassionate early childhood educators who contribute to lifelong learning.
Our trainers are sector-experts and our courses are designed to help new learners become the best educators they can be. With a focus on practical placement and enhancing the development of soft skills through our human-centred approach to education, we equip our learners with the skills, knowledge and qualities needed to thrive an early childhood educators.
If you share this goal, take a look at our range of early childhood education courses and get in touch to inspire a love of lifelong learning in every child.