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Early Years Learning Framework

MercyCare early learning centre staff have a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in children’s early years. A large number of MercyCare educators have worked in child care for many years and a large number with significant tenure at MercyCare. This means your children are educated and cared for by people with a thorough understanding of current practice in education and the Early Learning Framework which “guides educators in their curriculum decision-making and assists in planning, implementing and evaluating quality in early childhood settings” (Page 8).

What is ‘The Early Years Learning Framework’?

All staff educational practices and activities at MercyCare Early Learning Centres are based on a nationally recognised framework. Belonging, Being & Becoming - The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.

“The Framework forms the foundation for ensuring that children in all early childhood education and care settings experience quality teaching and learning. It has a specific emphasis on play-based learning and recognises the importance of communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy) and social and emotional development. The Framework has been designed for use by early childhood educators working in partnership with families, children’s first and most influential educators” (page 5).

“More broadly, the Framework supports Goal 2 of the Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians 2, that: All young Australians become:

  • Successful learners
  • Confident and creative individuals
  • Active and informed citizens” (page 5).

“Fundamental to the Framework is a view of children’s lives as characterised by belonging, being and becoming. From before birth children are connected to family, community, culture and place. Their earliest development and learning takes place through these relationships, particularly within families, who are children’s first and most influential educators. As children participate in everyday life, they develop interests and construct their own identities and understandings of the world.


Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. In early childhood, and throughout life, relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.


Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world. Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children’s lives. It is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, engaging with life’s joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life. The early childhood years are not solely preparation for the future but also about the present.


Children’s identities, knowledge, understandings, capacities, skills and relationships change during childhood. They are shaped by many different events and circumstances. Becoming reflects this process of rapid and significant change that occurs in the early years as young children learn and grow. It emphasises learning to participate fully and actively in society” (page 7).