1.5m children set to benefit from updated early childhood education framework

For the first time in more than ten years, Australia’s national early childhood learning frameworks have been updated with a focus on culture, sustainability and leadership.

Griffith University worked in collaboration with Macquarie University, QUT and Edith Cowan University to create a series of updates that are set to benefit more than 1.5 million children in Australia.

Associate Professor Jennifer Cartmel from Griffith’s School of Health Sciences and Social Work worked on the frameworks titled Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia and My Time Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia which are used as a guide for Australia’s early childhood curriculum and school age care programs.

“My role looked at leading the research to include children’s voices in all three stages which involved developing animations to invite children to contribute and report back,” Dr Cartmel said.

“I found there was a real lack of research into Outside Hours School Care (OSHC), so I used my international networks to gather data and findings to assist with updating the framework.

“After-school programs for children prioritise play and leisure opportunities.

“Children value the time spent with their friends and educators who care about their ideas and allow them to be involved in decision-making about the programs.

“Children may spend as much time in OSHC as they do in school so this framework ensures that high quality opportunities are provided in each of the services.

“It outlines how play and leisure experiences that are enjoyable and engaging ensure children’s wellbeing.”

This collaborative project was a two-year process and culminated in 20 recommendations which were presented to Education Ministers, with all being accepted to help ensure educators are provided with relevant and contemporary guiding principles.

The project was commissioned by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.