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The EYLF has many different aspects all of which have been broken down into five principles, eight practices and five learning outcomes. Belonging, Being and Belonging states that "The five Learning Outcomes in this Framework,..., provide early childhood educators with key reference points against which children's progress can be identified, documented and communicated to families, other early childhood professionals and educators in schools" (Australian DEEWRÂ & Council of Australian Governments, 2009, p.17). In the educators guide to the EYLF it says that "The framework has children's learning at the core." (Australian DEEWRÂ & Council of Australian Governments, 2010, p.17), The EYLF was developed to encourage educators to teach children according to the children's own interests and needs, and in a way that suits them, rather than educators teaching or setting out what they think the children want and need.
In Belonging, Being and Becoming (EYLF) it is said that it was developed to "assist educators to provide young children with opportunities to maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future success in learning" (Australian DEEWR.Â & Council of Australian Governments, 2009, p.5). It also says that "It has specific emphasis on play-based learning and recognises the importance of communication" (Australia DEEWR.Â & Council of Australian Governments, 2009, p.5). Play can be used "as a powerful 'learning' tool" (Kearns, 2010a, p.220) which has many advantages. Kearns (2010a, p.220) suggest five main groups of learning that occurs or develops during play, they include; problem solving, social skills, self esteem, self concept as well as further skill and concept development. By having positive interactive play educators can build meaningful and trusting relationships with children.
Elizabeth Dau (2007, p.226) says quite simply that "Relationships build through meaningful communication". It has also been suggested that "positive relationships between staff, parents and children [develop an] atmosphere of trust. This is the best foundation for developing communication"(Cooper, 2010, p.19). The EYLF adds "It is now recognised that it is our growing relationships with families and our capacities to engage families in meaningful ways that underpin everyone's sense of belonging, being and becoming..." (Australian DEEWRÂ & Council of Australian Governments, 2010, p.17). This means that the two -meaningful relationships and effective communication- work in unison, it also suggests that to further develop your communication skills you need positive relationships but also to build stronger relationships you need to have effective communication.
"Effective communication is vital to the provision of a quality service so as to enable you to work as part of a high-functioning team, and to meet the needs of children and their families..." (Egle, 2008, p.234). Effective communication does not refer to all communication, it is more complicated than this, as there are many factors and "Barriers that hinder good communication between educators and parents..."(Graham-Clay, S., 2005, p.123). Graham-Clay also argues that "Cultural differences can...create significant communication challenges" (Graham-Clay, S., 2005, p. 124). These are not the only barriers, the physical environment can also affect communication between two parties
The physical environment "may involve impressions created or words expressed. In fact, communication begins with the welcome sign when the parent first enters" (Chambers, 1998 as cited in Graham-Clay, S., 2005, p.118). "Welcome signs reflecting the range of ethnic languages spoken in the school community create an even more inviting atmosphere" (Lai and Ishiyama, 2004, as cited in Graham-Clay, S., 2005, p.118). All of this is involved in effective communication but also how the message is said or received can cause many problems, for instance, "People for whom English is a second language may... have difficulty in being understood by the listener or are not able to understand what is being said to them by the speaker" (Kearns, 2010b, p.20). All of these problems, and more, can be avoided by using a different strategies or methods of communication.
There are many strategies for improving communication as well as many different methods of communicating. Kearns (2010b) has written down many of the different strategies for improving communication with families they incorporate: showing interest, being friendly, being positive as well as sharing decisions, honouring and respecting the parents and many more (pp.170-172). Other strategies for effective communication may include, keeping it simple and straight to the point, and using an appropriate method at an appropriate time. "The goal is to organize concise, accurate information so that parents will read and understand it" (Graham-Clay, S., 2005, p. 119). Kearns believes that there is "A wide range of formal and informal strategies [that]can be used to share information with families"(2010b, pp.180-1). Graham-Clay (2005) highlights some of the methods that are used in kindergarten and early primary school; He says newsletters, school to home notebooks and report cards are some of the more common methods(p.119). A few more examples of communication consist of letters, notes, talking, messages, emails, parent teacher interview and also physical communication such as body language and tone of voice. "To establish genuine relationships and partnerships with families, educators [need to] find authentic ways to listen to and speak with families. Consideration should be given to when, where and the way in which we engage with families, not forgetting that we are striving for a sense of belonging for all our families." (Australian DEEWRÂ & Council of Australian Governments, 2010, p.17)
" From before birth children are connected to family, community, culture and place. Their earliest development and learning takes place through these relationships, particularly within families, who are children's first and most influential educators." (Australian DEEWRÂ & Council of Australian Governments, 2009, p.7). These relationships need to be respected, celebrated and fully involved if the EYLF is to be effectively implemented in all childcare centres. "Teachers strive to establish partnerships with parents to support student learning. Strong communication is fundamental to this partnership and to building a sense of community between home and school." (Graham-Clay, S., 2005, p.117). The EYLF requires positive relationships between all parties involved in the early childhood setting (the child, educators and the families) to build and implement a learning plan based on the individual child. As the EYLF framework states "When educators establish respectful and caring relationships with children and families, they are able to work together to construct curriculum and learning experiences relevant to children..." (Australian DEEWRÂ & Council of Australian Governments, 2009, p. 11).
The main aim of the EYLF is to build a learning program around each and every individual child within the early childhood setting. To do this we need to know as much about the child as possible, this requires effective communication between families, the children and the educators. As discussed above there are many barriers to communication and many methods to avoid these issues, the easiest way is to keep it simple and straight to the point to avoid any confusion or mix up. Find an appropriate method of communication that works for everyone and stick to it, this may be different for family. All people involved- children, families and educators- need to feel like they belong if the EYLF is to be effective within the childcare setting. To do this we need to have, as the Educators guide states, "...ongoing, open and honest communication" (Australian DEEWR & Council of Australian Governments, 2010, p.17).