In Australia, schools such as Chelmsford Drive Early Learning Centre centre their curriculum on the Early Years Learning Framework. This framework develops the emotional, social, and physical well-being of children. Two of the critical aspects are play-based learning and interaction.
The schools are only applying some of the positive emerging trends of early childhood education. The good news is that the outcomes have been improving.
The Gains in Early Childhood Learning
Australia is doing well in encouraging young children to attend school as early as possible. Statistics now show that nine out of ten kids who are four years old are already learning before they begin primary school. It means that within the last ten years, the country beat the average of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
It’s not only the attendance that has improved. So did the quality of education. The Early Years Framework reveals the country’s belief in building a strong learning foundation for the children. It is also a nod to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The guide stresses the importance of play-based learning. One of the ways to illustrate that is through role-playing. This process works on different value systems. These can include creativity, curiosity, and relationships. The children learn to engage with other people and their surroundings. They can begin to recognise the challenges and find ways to solve them.
It also highlights the role of the community and the parents in the learning process. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. Partnerships among these stakeholders can further improve the results of early childhood education.
Studies have revealed that parental engagement can reduce dropout rates while increasing participation in schools. Children are also more likely to excel as they receive support and encouragement from the ones they consider as role models.
When it comes to early childhood education, Australia needs to do some more work. Although the government funds many of these programmes, families still spend about 30%. It still lags behind other developed countries such as France and Denmark in enrollment rates at age three.
However, the country is on the right path, and many schools fully support its goals.