11 minutes reading time (2109 words)

Kindergarten Program and Play Based Program - Yes we are Learning!

Early Years Learning Framework - EYLF 

Belonging, Being and Becoming - The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) describes the principles, practices and outcomes that support and enhance young children's learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school.

The framework is a key component of the National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care. The EYLF was developed by the Australian and state and territory governments with input from the early childhood sector and early childhood academics. It has incorporated feedback from a consultation process, including two national symposiums, national public consultation forums, focus groups, an online forum and case-study trials.

The framework offers a vision where 'all children experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life'. It has been designed so that early childhood services will be able to develop their own strategies to implement its objectives.

Families looking for more information on the EYLF can use the Information for Families Guide.

The Early Years Learning Framework defines play-based learning as 'a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations'.

What is a Play Based Program?

 Children today are immersed in technology and popular culture, and have increasing expectations placed on them regarding academic achievement. This places greater pressure on care and education environments to provide programs that focus on and maintain academic pursuits. However the importance of play as a vehicle for learning cannot be underestimated. Early childhood education has a long history of valuing play and this understanding is becoming more prevalent in primary education.

• Play based learning draws from children's natural desire to engage in experiences based on their interests, strengths and developing skills. When children initiate play, they are more motivated to learn and develop positive dispositions towards learning. The educator's role in supporting play based learning is vital. Belonging Being and Becoming The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (2009:15) outlines the many roles educators take in play and the range of strategies they use to support learning. These include: Engaging in sustained shared conversations within play experience to extend children's thinking 

• Providing a balance between child led, child initiated and educator supported learning 

• Creating learning environments to support learning 

• Interacting with babies and children within play to build attachment 

• Supporting the inclusion of all children in play 

• Recognising spontaneous teachable moments as they occur and using intentional teaching strategies such as demonstrating, and engaging in shared thinking and problem solving

A play based program has many benefits for children as it facilitates the development of skills, dispositions and knowledge. As effective play based program can assist children to develop lifelong learning skills that will stay with them beyond the early learning environment. Engaging in play based learning enables children to use and develop thinking skills such as problem solving, reasoning and lateral thinking. It offers opportunities to interact with others, develop communication strategies and work in collaboration with peers and adults. It can foster literacy, numeracy and the development of scientific concepts. As children are empowered to make decisions and initiate play, they become confident and motivated learners. This in turn fosters responsibility and self regulation. Play also provides children with many opportunities to resolve conflict, challenge unfair play and embrace diversity.

 How does it compare to direct instruction?

 Play-based learning has traditionally been the educational approach implemented by teachers in Australian preschool programs. It underpins state and national government early learning frameworks.

Research has shown the long-term benefits of high-quality play-based kindergarten programs, where children are exposed to learning and problem solving through self-initiated activities and teacher guidance.

In contrast to play-based learning are teacher-centred approaches focused on instructing young children in basic academic skills. Although this more structured teaching and learning style is the traditional approach to primary school programs, research is emerging that play-based learning is more effective in primary school programs. In these recent studies, children's learning outcomes are shown to be higher in a play-based program compared to children's learning outcomes in direct-instruction approaches.

Research has also identified young children in direct-instruction programs can experience negative effects. These include stress, decreased motivation for learning, and behaviour problems. This is particularly so for children who are not yet ready for more formal academic instruction.

Today I am a child and work is my play!

When I'm building in the block room, please don't say I'm "just playing"

For you see, I'm learning as I play, about balance and shapes.

Who knows? I may be an architect someday.

When I am getting dressed up, setting the table, caring for the babies.

Don't get the idea I'm "just playing". For you see, I'm learning as I play.

I may be a mother or a father someday.

When you see me up to my elbows in paint or standing at an easel, or moulding

and shaping clay, please don't let me hear you say "He is just playing"

For you see, I'm learning as I play, I'm expressing myself and being creative.

I may be an artist or an inventor someday.

When you see me sitting in a chair "reading" to an imaginary audience.

Please do not laugh and think I'm "just playing".

For you see, I'm learning as I play.

I may be a teacher someday.

When you see me combing the bushes for bugs, or packing my pockets with choice

things I find, don't pass it off as "just playing". For you see, I'm learning as I play.

I may be a scientist someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle or some "plaything" at school.

Please don't feel the time is wasted in "play".For you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm learning to solve problems and to concentrate.

I may be in business someday.

When you see me cooking or tasting foods, please don't think that because I enjoy it, it is

"just playing". I'm learning to follow directions and see differences.

I may be a chef someday.

When you see me learning to skip, hop, run and move my body, please don't say I'm "just

playing". For you see, I'm learning as I play. I'm learning how my body works.

I may be a doctor, nurse or athlete someday.

When you ask me what I've done at school today, and I say, "I just played"

Please don't misunderstand me. For you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm learning to enjoy and be successful in my work. I'm preparing for tomorrow.

Today, I am a child and my work is play.

Qld Kindergarten Learning Guidelines

 The Queensland kindergarten learning guideline supports kindergarten teachers' professional practice in a range of contexts across Queensland. The guideline is based on the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) and embraces the inclusive vision that "all children experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life". 

The EYLF describes a vision of children's learning, characterised by: 

• belonging — recognising that knowing where and with whom you belong is integral to human existence, providing a basis for children's interdependence and relationships with others 

• being — recognising and valuing the "here and now" in children's lives, and viewing childhood as more than simply preparation for adulthood or for the future • becoming — recognising the rapid and significant learning and development that occurs in the early years, and the capability and potential of all children. While the EYLF focuses on children from birth to five years, the Queensland kindergarten learning guideline aims to specifically enrich children's learning in the Kindergarten Year. In Queensland, the Kindergarten Year is the year before the Preparatory Year of schooling. Throughout the Kindergarten Year, children's right to experience the joy of childhood is fundamental and learning is promoted through play, and emergent and planned learning experiences and interactions.

Did you know our Kindergarten Program is run by a Qualified Teacher? 

​Miss Indri is our Kindergarten Teacher. Indri holds a Bachelor of Education from QUT.

Here at Kidz Magic we run a Government approved Kindergarten Program.

Miss Indri runs an amazing program and I invite you to come along and spend the morning in the Kindy room to see what learning is occuring. You will be amazed!

Kindergarten, known as kindy, is a part-time educational program for children in the year before school. Attending a kindy program lets your child learn through play, make friends and prepare for the transition to school. Approved kindergarten programs are play-based, delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher and meet government requirements to support children's participation in quality early childhood education.

Watch the following videos to find out what a quality kindergarten service is and what the day-to-day workings of a typical kindy room looks like.

What will my child learn? 

 Approved kindergarten programs develop your child's physical, social, intellectual, language and emotional abilities. Children will have opportunities to learn how to:

  • use language to communicate ideas, feelings and needs
  • make friends and cooperate with other children
  • become more independent and confident in their abilities
  • develop self-discipline
  • creatively express ideas and feelings through art, dance and dramatic play
  • identify, explore and solve problems
  • develop reading, writing and numeracy skills.

The routine will most likely include a combination of indoor and outdoor play, group and individual activities, morning and afternoon tea, lunch break and a rest.

Your child will take part in individual and group activities such as block play, painting, games, puzzles, storytelling, dress-ups, dancing and singing.

Children can take part in outdoor physical activities and interact with the natural environment.

Through these experiences your child will build on their knowledge, explore and express new ideas, learn to cooperate with others and make friends.

 How will I keep up to date on my child's progress?

 During the kindergarten year, the teachers may share information with you in many ways about how your child is progressing. They may:

  • chat informally with you at drop-off and pick-up times
  • have communication books with photos and information about your child's interests
  • use photos to show the learning activities in which your child is participating

At the end of the kindergarten year you will get a summary of your child's learning and development progress during the kindergarten year in a transition statement. Transition statements include suggestions that will support each child's continued learning when they start school.

Kindergarten teachers develop the transition statement near the end of the kindy year, and parents, carers and children contribute their thoughts about starting school.

When the transition statement is shared with the child's new school, the valuable information they contain about each child's strengths and interests is helpful for Prep teachers as they prepare to welcome each child and plan for their ongoing learning and development.

Parents and carers can choose to share the transition statement with their child's new school or they can consent to it being passed to the school by the Kindergarten teacher when they sign the transition statement parent/carer consent form.

Transition Statements 

Transition statements for Kindergarten Children - please find more information here...

 How can I support learning and development?

 Teachers encourage you to have an active role in your child's education, from volunteering and fundraising to attending information sessions.

Ask staff at your service how you can become involved. You can offer your skills and expertise, your time and energy or your interest in your child and what they are learning and experiencing.

You are your child's first teacher. The most important thing you can do for your child is to talk with them. Language and the ability to communicate with others, which may include using sign language and devices to aid speech or writing, is essential for learning.

You are encouraged to read to your child every day, play simple games and explore outdoors, looking at nature and supporting them to talk about what they see.

Everyday experiences around the home are also valuable opportunities for learning. Tasks such as setting the table, helping with the grocery shopping, gardening and tidying up help children with their development.

Your child's brain is developing at a rapid rate, building the foundations for all future learning later in life. You can find out more about how to provide a supportive and caring environment with everyday learning activities at The Early Years Count website.