Approved learning frameworks

Under the National Law and Regulations, services are required to base their educational program on an approved learning framework. This should focus on addressing the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child, while taking into account individual differences.

National approved learning frameworks

There are two nationally approved learning frameworks which outline practices that support and promote children’s learning:

Other state and territory frameworks

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

Update of national approved learning frameworks

About the project  

Education Ministers have commissioned an update of the two 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 is 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. 

A national Consortia 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 (ALFs) Update project.  

The project commenced in April 2021 and is being delivered over three stages. 

In Stages 1 and 2, the Literature Review, surveys and stakeholder feedback on the Discussion Paper highlighted the strengths of the current ALFs and identified areas where they could be improved.  

Potential areas for improving the ALFs explored in the Discussion Paper included: 

  • Strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives throughout the frameworks including the vision, principles, practices and outcomes 
  • Strengthening the link between the vision and planning cycle 
  • 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 
  • 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 
  • Expanding and strengthening guidance around Learning Outcomes  

These potential areas for change aim to strengthen the connection between the ALFs 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. 

Stage 3 of the project is underway now 

The Consortia is piloting the potential updates to the ALFs in 16 services across Australia to inform their recommendations to governments and ACECQA on areas for improvement, and how any changes are best implemented. 

  • From January to March 2022, practitioners are piloting the potential updates to the ALFs in their services.
    The pilot sites include a diverse range of service types across jurisdictions. 
    Throughout the pilot, service leaders and educators will provide feedback to the Consortia on the clarity, useability and efficacy of the potential updates. They will also share their insights on opportunities for further improvement and on implementation. 
  • By mid-2022, findings and feedback from the pilot will inform recommendations for consideration by Education Ministers. 

The Approved Learning Frameworks Update website includes the Terms of Reference for the project and the option to register your interest to receive regular updates.