Part 4.1: Educational program and practice

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Quality Area 1: Standards and Elements

Standard 1.1
An approved learning framework informs the development of a curriculum that enhances each child’s learning and development.

Element 1.1.1

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 communicators.
  Element 1.1.2 Each child’s current knowledge, ideas, culture, abilities and interests are the foundation of the program.
  Element 1.1.3 The program, including routines, is organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning.
  Element 1.1.4 The documentation about each child’s program and progress is available to families.
  Element 1.1.5 Every child is supported to participate in the program.
  Element 1.1.6 Each child’s agency is promoted, enabling them to make choices and decisions and influence events and their world.
Standard 1.2
Educators and co-ordinators are focused, active and reflective in designing and delivering the program for each child.
  Element 1.2.1 Each child’s learning and development is assessed as part of an ongoing cycle of planning, documentation and evaluation.
  Element 1.2.2 Educators respond to children’s ideas and play and use intentional teaching to scaffold and extend each child’s learning.
  Element 1.2.3 Critical reflection on children’s learning and development, both as individuals and in groups, is regularly used to implement the program.


Educational program

National Law: Section 168
National Regulations: Regulations 73–76


The National Law and National Regulations require an Approved Service to provide a program that is:

  • based on an approved learning framework
  • delivered in accordance with that framework
  • based on the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child, and
  • takes into account the individuality of each child.

The educational program should contribute to the following outcomes:

  • children have a strong sense of identity.
  • children are connected with and contribute to his or her world.
  • children have a strong sense of wellbeing.
  • children are confident and involved learners.
  • children are effective communicators.


There are two national approved learning frameworks:


There are also jurisdiction-specific declared approved learning frameworks:

  • Australian Capital Territory: Every Chance to Learn—Curriculum Framework for ACT Schools Preschool to Year 10
  • Victoria: Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, Department of Education and Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • Western Australia: Curriculum Framework for Kindergarten to Year 12 Education in Western Australia
  • Tasmania: Tasmanian Curriculum, Department of Education of Tasmania, 2008.


Assessment of children’s learning

The approved national learning frameworks outline that assessment is a process used by educators to gather information about what children know, understand and can do. This information should be analysed by educators to plan effectively for each child’s learning. Assessment information can also be used by educators to reflect on their own values, beliefs and teaching practices, and to communicate about children’s learning with children and their families.

Assessment documentation must be kept for each child. There is no prescribed method in the National Law or National Regulations for documenting assessment of children’s learning.

For children who are preschool age and under, this documentation should include:

  • assessments of the child’s development needs, interests, experiences and participation in the educational program
  • assessments of the child’s progress against the learning outcomes of the educational program.


The Early Years Learning Framework says that ‘Children’s learning is ongoing and each child will progress towards the outcomes in different and equally meaningful ways’ (page 19).


The Educators’ Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework (pages 37–41) provides further information about assessment for learning.

For children who are over preschool age, this documentation should focus on evaluations of the child’s wellbeing, development and learning within the educational program.

Consideration should also be given to the period of time a child is educated and cared for by the service (for example, full-time or part-time attendance), how the documentation will be used by the educators and ensuring the documents are easily understandable by parents of the child.

Some services may choose to produce portfolios or learning journals as a way of documenting assessment and progress towards learning outcomes. If so, these must include an analysis of children’s learning to meet the requirements of the National Regulations.


Information for parents about educational program

National Regulations: Regulations 75–76


Information about the educational program must be displayed at the service in a place that is easily accessible to parents. For a Family day care service, the program must be available at each family day care residence or venue.

The following information must be given to a child’s parents when requested:

  • the content and operation of the educational program as it relates to that child
  • information about that child’s participation in the program
  • a copy of assessments or evaluations in relation to that child.


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Last Updated: 03-09-2013