Element 1.1.1: Approved learning framework

Curriculum decision-making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners and effectiveness as communicator
National Law & Regulations

National Law and National Regulations underpinning Element 1.1.1

Section 51(1)(b) Conditions on service approval (educational and developmental needs of children)

Section 168 Offence relating to required programs

Regulation 73 Educational program

What Element 1.1.1 aims to achieve

An approved learning framework guides the development of the curriculum at an education and care service and supports curriculum decision-making as an ongoing cycle of observation, analysing learning, documentation, planning, implementation and reflection. Curriculum decision-making is guided by the principles, practices and learning outcomes of the approved learning framework. This involves educators drawing on their pedagogy and their in-depth knowledge and understanding of each child.

The educational leader and educators use an approved learning framework and the service philosophy to consider the service’s approach to learning, development and wellbeing, and the way in which these guide everyday practice and development of the education program.

Approved learning frameworks

The Early Years Learning Framework and the Framework for School Age Care (and other jurisdiction-approved learning frameworks) include principles, practices and learning outcomes that guide educational leaders and educators in their curriculum decision-making, and assist them in planning, delivering and evaluating quality programs in early and middle childhood settings.

A learning outcome is a skill, knowledge or disposition that educators can actively promote in collaboration with children and families. The Early Years Learning Framework and the Framework for School Age Care (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 8; Framework for School Age Care, p. 6) promote five learning outcomes that are designed to capture the integrated and complex learning and development of all children. These are:

  1. Children have a strong sense of identity
  2. Children are connected with and contribute to their world
  3. Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
  4. Children are confident and involved learners
  5. Children are effective communicators

The learning outcomes are broad and observable. They acknowledge that children learn in a variety of ways and vary in their strengths, (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 19; Framework for School Age Care, p. 18) capabilities and pace of learning. The frameworks include examples of how children’s progress towards the outcomes may be evident as well as suggestions for how educators could support and facilitate children’s learning.

The Early Years Learning Framework aims to extend and enrich children’s learning from birth through the transition to school. The Educators’ Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework supports the educational leader and educators to deliver programs that enhance learning and developmental outcomes for each child.

The Framework for School Age Care is strongly linked to the Early Years Learning Framework and extends the principles, practices and outcomes to children and young people who attend school age care services. The framework is based on the notion that educators collaborate with children to provide play and leisure opportunities that are meaningful to children, and support their wellbeing, learning and development. The Educators’ Guide to the Framework for School Age Care supports the educational leader and educators to deliver such programs.

Another approved learning framework is the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.

Curriculum decision-making

Based on knowledge gained from observing children and contributions from their families, educators (together with the educational leader) use the learning framework’s principles, practices and outcomes to plan for each child’s learning and development. Children’s learning is ongoing and each child will progress towards outcomes in different and equally meaningful ways (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 19).

As children participate in everyday life, they develop knowledge and interests and construct their own identities and understandings of the world (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 7; Framework for School Age Care, p. 5). Educators make curriculum decisions that uphold all children’s rights including the right to have their identities, knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities and interests acknowledged and valued in the context of their families and communities (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 13; Framework for School Age Care, p. 11). Educators in school age settings recognise that children’s learning, while participating in play and leisure opportunities, complements their learning at home and at school.

Assessment guide for meeting Element 1.1.1 (for all services)

Curriculum decision-making


Assessors may observe:

  • children displaying behaviours and engaging in activities consistent with the evidence for outcomes described in the approved learning frameworks— for example, children:
    • expressing a wide range of emotions, thoughts and views constructively
    • exploring aspects of identity through role play
    • expressing opinions in matters that affect them
    • being empowered to make choices and solve problems to meet their needs
    • working collaboratively with others
    • moving around and through their environments confidently and safely
    • being curious and enthusiastic participants in their learning
    • using play to investigate, imagine and explore ideas
    • conveying and constructing messages with purpose and confidence (Early Years Learning Framework, pp. 21–40; Framework for School Age Care, pp. 23–38).
  • educators providing experiences for children that actively promote or initiate the investigation of ideas, complex concepts and thinking, reasoning and hypothesising by, for example:
    • talking explicitly about phonological concepts, such as rhyme, letters and sounds when sharing texts with children
    • engaging children in discussions about symbol systems, such as letters, numbers, time, money and musical notation
    • supporting children to contribute constructively to mathematical and scientific discussions and arguments
    • engaging children in exploration of creative arts such as musical rhythms or beats, or lines or shapes in visual arts
    • using everyday events as a basis for children’s exploration and learning about nature and science
    • supporting children to take on roles that use literacy and numeracy in their play (Early Years Learning Framework, pp. 35–43; Framework for School Age Care, p. 3).
  • educators consolidating and extending children’s communication by, for example:
    • engaging children in singing songs and playing with words and sounds
    • supporting children to convey and construct messages with purpose and confidence, building on home/family and community languages
    • developing children’s language and thinking by:
  • building vocabulary, having language-rich communication exchanges between educators and children
  • promoting expressive aspects of children’s language
    • providing opportunities for children to express ideas and make meaning using a range of media (Early Years Learning Framework, pp. 40–42; Framework for School Age Care, pp. 38–40).
  • educators supporting children to be independent communicators who initiate English and home-language conversations, and who listen, respond and engage in conversation
  • educators providing a literacy-enriched environment that includes displaying print in home languages and in English
Birth to three
  • educators:
    • supporting and promoting early attempts of children to initiate interactions and conversations
    • acknowledging and responding sensitively to cues and signals from children
    • initiating one-to-one interactions with children during daily routines
  • children:
    • reaching out and communicating for comfort, assistance and companionship
    • being playful and responding positively to others
    • being given opportunities to learn and practice new skills
School age children
  • the educational leader and educators:
    • acknowledging and planning opportunities for children to relax through play and leisure
    • incorporating children’s diverse experiences, perspectives, expectations, knowledge and skills in the program
    • implementing a cross curricula approach to develop children’s critical thinking and collaborative skills
    • empowering children to take a leading role in planning and delivering the program.

Assessors may discuss:

  • how educators make curriculum decisions
  • how learning outcomes are promoted through the program and children’s experiences
  • how the service communicates learning outcomes for children with their families
  • how the service’s philosophy statement guides pedagogy and teaching decisions
School age children
  • strategies:
    • used by the service to ensure that all children have a sense of belonging in the service, including regular and occasional attendees
    • used to ensure that the requirements and interests of children attending on an irregular basis are reflected in the program planning and delivery
Family day care
  • how activities outside the home are incorporated to provide a range of experiences to support children in achieving the outcomes of the approved learning frameworks.

Assessors may sight:

  • documentation that has been gathered in a variety of ways about children’s progress towards the learning outcomes and planning that establishes further learning goals
  • documented programs that include planned experiences and/or strategies to support individual children’s goals
  • documented programs demonstrating that an assessment of the learning outcomes has led to goals being identified for the group of children that are designed to intentionally support aspects of learning
Family day care
  • documentation that:
    • supports the development of programs in a variety of ways based on age of children, pattern of attendance and the grouping(s) of children
    • demonstrates that an evaluation of the learning outcomes has led to goals being identified for the group of children that intentionally support aspects of learning.