EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE
There is a great deal of professional expertise that goes into the development of what at first glance, may look like a ‘group of children having fun’.
At quality services, the teaching staff develop curriculum that addresses the strengths and the needs of all the children as members of the group and as individuals. Through intentional teaching, children are taught, among other things, to care for themselves and others, self-regulation and perseverance. They are exposed to the ideas of respect, patience, kindness and so on.
No, the education at kindergarten is not academic and that is on purpose! The children will, however, be absorbed in numerous experiences on a daily basis that reinforce the concepts of early literacy, early numeracy, science, creative expressive and engineering, in readiness for school, where they will then begin the academic part of their education.
THE NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD (NQS)
The National Quality Standard (NQS) is a key aspect of the National Quality Framework (NQF) and sets a high, national benchmark for early childhood education and care services in Australia. It gives services and families a better understanding of what makes a quality service, which is designed to help families make informed decisions about who they choose to provide education and care to their child.
The NQS brings together the seven important key quality to outcomes for children. (All hyperlinked)
- Educational program and practice
- Children’s health and safety
- Physical environment
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Leadership and service management
The NQS contains 18 standards with two or three standards in each quality area. These standards are high-level outcome statements. Yes, there are high expectations for fantastic outcomes for ALL children under the NQS and quality early childhood education – like you find at kindergarten – is a proven contributor.
RATING AND ASSESSMENT
To monitor consistent quality, early childhood services are assessed by their regulatory authority by comparing them to the requirements of the NQS. They are given a rating for each of the seven quality areas then an overall rating based on these results. All member centres of Yarra Ranges Kindergartens Inc. meet or exceed these standards. Search a centre HERE
NATIONAL LEARNING FRAMEWORKS
The NQS is linked to national learning frameworks that recognise children learn from birth. Services are required to base their educational program on an approved learning framework. The national learning framework for kindergartens is:
Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (‘Early Years Learning Framework’ or EYLF).
There are also state-specific approved frameworks. Victoria has the Victorian Early Years Learning & Development Framework (VEYLDF).