Approved learning frameworks

Under the National Law, services must deliver an educational program to all children being educated and cared for that is:  

  • based on an approved learning framework  

  • delivered in accordance with that approved learning framework  

  • based on the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child  

  • designed to take into account the individual differences of each child. 

National approved learning frameworks

There have been 2 national approved learning frameworks in operation under the NQF since 2012, which outline 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 childhood and school age settings. 

Following a process to refresh the national frameworks, updated versions of both national approved learning frameworks were released in early 2023.  

Approved providers and their services are now encouraged to begin familiarising themselves with the updated learning frameworks and adjusting relevant aspects of their educational program and practice where needed to reflect new or amended aspects of the frameworks. 

The original national learning frameworks will remain in operation alongside the updated Frameworks, until early 2024, to enable approved providers and their services time to transition to the updated learning frameworks. 

Original version New version
Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF)
National approved learning framework under the NQF for young children from birth to 5 years of age.
Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) V2.0 2022
National approved learning framework under the NQF for young children from birth to 5 years of age.
My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia
National approved learning framework under the NQF for school age children.
My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia V2.0 2022
National approved learning framework under the NQF for school age children.

Other state and territory frameworks

There are also the following approved learning frameworks specific to Victoria: 

New resources to support implementation of EYLF V2.0 and MTOP V2.0

Additional supporting material will be developed by governments and ACECQA to support providers and their services to implement the changes.  
 

What’s changed in the national approved learning frameworks? 

Education Ministers commissioned an update of the 2 national approved learning frameworks. 

The updates to both frameworks are the results of a robust process to assess options and provide recommendations for change. This included reviewing contemporary research, comprehensive stakeholder engagement nationally, and piloting of proposed changes across a range of education and care settings. 

The changes you will find in both framework documents comprise a mix of clarifications and expanded explanations across parts of the original Approved Learning Frameworks, and a smaller number of more substantial changes, including the addition of 3 new principles and updated practices across all relevant aspects of V2.0 of both national Frameworks. 

The main differences you will see are a stronger connection between the frameworks and the National Quality Standard in areas such as transitions, sustainability, theoretical approaches, critical reflection, the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of being, knowing and doing, inclusion and the addition of 3 new principles. 

Key updates to both national approved learning frameworks

Vision 

  • Strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives throughout the frameworks including the vision, principles, practices and outcomes  
  • Pedagogy and educator’s professional practice 
  • Strengthening the link between the vision and planning cycle  

Principles 

  • Strengthening the principle of ongoing learning and reflective practice  
  • Introducing a new principle promoting collaborative leadership  
  • Introducing a new sustainability principle  
  • Strengthening the principle of high expectations and equity  
  • Updating the principle of secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships to include relational pedagogy  
  • Strengthening partnerships to include other professionals  

Practices 

  • Clarifying the meaning of holistic approaches  
  • Strengthening the connection between play-based learning and intentionality  
  • Replacing cultural competence with cultural responsiveness  
  • Aligning assessment and evaluation for learning development and wellbeing 

Learning outcomes 

  • Expanding and strengthening guidance to support the Outcomes 

How were the approved learning frameworks updated?  

In 2020, Education Ministers commissioned an update of the 2 national approved learning frameworks.  

Both frameworks have proved integral to the success of the National Quality Framework for close to a decade. The purpose of this update was to ensure they continue to reflect contemporary developments in practice and knowledge, while supporting all educators to promote the wellbeing, learning and development of each child.  

After more than a decade in use, it was agreed that it’s important they remain current and support effective foundations for high quality education and care, and relationships across the early childhood and school age service system. 

A national Consortium led by a partnership between Macquarie University, Queensland University of Technology and Edith Cowan University was engaged by ACECQA, on behalf of all governments, to deliver the 2021 National Quality Framework (NQF) Approved Learning Frameworks Update project.   

The project commenced in 2021 and was delivered over 3 stages.  

In Stages 1 and 2, the Literature Review, surveys and stakeholder feedback on the Discussion Paper highlighted the strengths of the original national Approved Learning Frameworks and identified areas where they could be improved.   

Potential areas for improving the original frameworks were explored in the Discussion Paper, aiming to strengthen the connection between the frameworks and the National Quality Standard in areas such as transitions, sustainability, theoretical approaches, critical reflection, the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of being, knowing and doing, and inclusion.  

During Stage 3, the Consortium piloted the potential updates to the 2 national Frameworks in 16 ECEC and OSHC services across Australia to inform their recommendations to governments and ACECQA on areas for improvement, and how any changes are best implemented.  

The pilot sites included a diverse range of service types across jurisdictions.  
Throughout the pilot, service leaders and educators provided feedback to the Consortium on the clarity, useability and efficacy of the potential updates. They also shared their insights on opportunities for further improvement and on implementation.