This e-Newsletter has been produced as the final one for 2011 to support educators in reviewing their current assessment practices and setting up for documenting children's learning in 2012. Next year, a team of experienced writers will prepare newsletters focusing on how the EYLF relates to the National Quality Standard.
A new year often means new beginnings and that is particularly true for 2012 as early childhood educators continue to engage with the EYLF and prepare for the introduction of the NQS, both of which are key components of the National Quality Framework (NQF). Many of us around the country are thrilled to see the introduction of the NQF as we hope that the key focus on continuous quality improvement will lead to better outcomes for children. Some educators may be feeling a little daunted about how to prepare for the changes, so this first e-Newsletter of 2012 is designed to assist you to make a start—if you haven't already done so.
One of the requirements of the NQS is that each service has a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) in place by 30 April this year and that every QIP needs to include a statement of philosophy. A statement of philosophy is more than a mission statement. The philosophy is the 'why' behind your work with children, their families and professional colleagues. It is the combination of your beliefs, values and hopes for the educational program that you provide and its outcomes.
Children's health and safety is about more than just their physical wellbeing; it also refers to their whole welfare. This means that early childhood educators think about more than practical health and safety issues in their day-to-day work. They also recognise that children will have differing emotional support needs and therefore deal with each child differently, respecting their individual life contexts.
Traditionally, early childhood care and education services have offered children opportunities to play for periods inside and periods outside.
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the National Quality Standard (NQS) do not make distinctions between indoor and outdoor locations. Instead, these documents focus on the learning that occurs and ask educators to think more deeply about how, what and when children learn in the early childhood setting. In this issue, Judy Radich writes about environments for learning.