The early years of education are the most formative years in human development.
Parents are the primary educators of their children and are highly influential in how they will live, learn and grow.
Second only to parents’ enduring influence is the effect on children of their early years educators.
Independent school early years’ educators understand the importance of their role in providing opportunities for children to reach their unique potential and to become active, well-rounded and positive citizens in the future.
Independent Schools Victoria Values Choice in Education
Independent Schools Victoria actively pursues the right of parents and educators to exercise choice about the kind of education children will receive. A wide range of religious, cultural and philosophical views are represented in the spectrum of small and large Independent schools. There are early education facilities in over 80 of the Independent schools in Victoria.
Definition of Early Years
Some confusion exists about the definition of the early years of education.
‘The Early Years’ refers to children 0-8 years old. This includes pre-school and school age children.
The definition under the Education and Care Services National Regulations is:
Child over preschool age means a child who –
- Is enrolled or registered at a school; and
- Attends, or in the current calendar year will attend, school in the year before grade 1 or in grade 1 or a higher grade . (ACECQUA Newsletter 1- 2012)
On the Independent Schools Victoria website, preschool children are referred to as being in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC).
The National Quality Framework
In a ground breaking initiative for Australia, a National Quality Framework (NQF) was implemented on 1 January 2012. It has regulatory, curricular and quality implications for the early education industry. A most important component is the National Curriculum: Belonging, Being, Becoming [PDF].
The National Curriculum: Belonging, Being, Becoming
The evocative name of our national curriculum meaningfully captures the importance of the early years in children’s identity development and sense of belonging.
Out of School Hours Care (OSHC)
The NQF also regulates children up to eight years of age who are enrolled in an Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) facility. The curriculum for the OSHC program is called My Time, Our Place.