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A Vision for Children's Learning

The three key strands associated with the EYLF comprise the elements of Belonging, Being, and Becoming. This blog is a deeper dive into an understanding of what it means to 'be' a child within the scope of who they are becoming.

Written by: Joanne Harris Educational Advisor  

In 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) created The Early Years Framework in an agreed partnership between states and territories to provide a foundation for a National Quality Agenda for Early Childhood Education and Care.

Developed from extensive national and international research, this would become a platform for educators to unite and amplify the importance of early childhood, ensuring maximum opportunities to highlight their learning and development with a view to providing consistency in any location.

The overall vision of COAG was to magnify the importance of children’s learning from birth to five years by providing support to early childhood providers, teachers educators, and their families within all childcare settings.

A Vision for Children’s Learning

The three key strands associated with the EYLF comprise the elements of Belonging, Being, and Becoming. Although these concepts seem self-explanatory, the emphasis will be placed on a deeper understanding of this component and a practical definition of what Being may look like in practice.

Underpinning this body of work is the premise that:

“All children have the best start in life to create a better future for themselves and for the nation.”

Recently updated after extensive consultation and research, this revitalised document is even more critical than ever in rebuilding a post-pandemic world. Many of the elements have been left untouched, but those revised, it was done to elevate the important advances made in applying essential research into practice.

From the time a child is born, there are expectations for the kind of person they may become as they grow. Parents may consider how their lives will change and their impact on raising their children. The ripple effect continues as each of the groups and communities they are born into will help be responsible for providing them with care and education.

Working together in partnership with families gives children the best chance of a quality experience and a strong foundation for growing to be happy and healthy members of society.


What is the meaning of being in EYLF?

Describing the essence of being could be considered as challenging as trying to define life’s meaning in a simple sentence. However, the experience of life is inextricably linked to the feeling of being an active part of it.

Within the early years learning framework, childhood is referred to as:

“A time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world.”

This suggests that being involves the action and movement associated with an abundance of new experiences it promises as children learn and develop through engagement and interactions with others who are there to help provide them with the open-ended invitation to explore the world around them.

One of the most important gifts young children evoke is their ability to remain in the present moment. As they are engaging with people and places for the first time in their short lives it is important to recognise and meet their needs through patience and compassion.

The desire to support children to make meaning of the world depends largely on the primary relationships that are formed with the significant people in their lives. When their words and actions are supported by positive engagement and acceptance, it gives children confidence and assurance that it is safe to express their feelings and impressions safely.

The significance of being in the here and now

Much of what is important in life is having ample time and space to enjoy what is freely available to us. Children are uninhibited in their joy or frustration when encountering something new whether they are being watched by others. Everything is exciting and interesting in ways that adults forget after many years of experiencing what now may feel mundane and ordinary.

The energy of children is guided by what is stimulating to them and how it is presented and celebrated with them. Their enthusiasm can be encouraged through simple conversation and interaction. Using techniques such as mirroring and reflective listening are important ways to help children make sense of what they are learning through experience.

Repeating back the words and phrases children are choosing and using demonstrates to them that what they think and say matters.  Asking and answering their questions invites them to deepen their understanding through an activity, engaging their senses and connections that are integral to the development of their physical and emotional skills.

Learning that is engaging builds success in life

Given ample time to explore their world with the freedom to make their own choices it positively reinforces that children feel trusted and validated by those around them. This increases their confidence and motivation to try new things and celebrate their learning with the support and care of adults.

With encouragement and guidance, learning can be exciting and meaningful, affording the opportunity for children to set their own pace when engaging with different resources, experiences, and activities.

The importance of being in relation to learning is also a time for children to prepare themselves for the acceptance and inevitability of constant change and transitions that are part of everyday life. When children are invited to be part of the change it is easier for them to accommodate and adapt with a feeling of safety and security.

Six States of being

In the English language and within a grammatical sense, there are six states of being that describe actions: is, am, was, were, (to) be. Depending on the context of the situation the appropriate verb would be chosen. When applied to human development there is a distinction between a state of being and doing. Observing a child through a physical lens, it is typically easier to record their action by looking with your eyes.

What makes being different from doing is the perception of the value of the experience that a child may be engaged in.

To achieve the best possible outcomes for Australian children, it has been integral to have sound guidance that embeds all aspects of their development in accessible documents that include the Early Years Learning Framework.


For more information about supporting children’s emotional well-being please visit


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