Think about what is important to you… your family, your culture, your identity. Now think about a time where you felt completely at ease, welcomed, understood and respected….. now, what about a time where you felt judged, criticised and not able to be yourself. What was the difference between these two experiences that made you feel this way?
Now put this into the context of children’s services. Do the children in your care have a sense of belonging? Are their cultures, family type, values and beliefs respected, welcomed and protrayed in a positive light?
Do the children in your care have a sense of being? Do they feel comfortable, do they know who they are, have a positive self concept?
Do the children in your care have a sense of becoming? Do they feel they can be themselves and contribute to the program, are their ideas listened to?… or do they have to change to “fit in” to your environment?
Ask yourself these questions, reflect on your current practices, your environment and experiences, conversations you have with children and families. Do you think about these things often… or not enough? Are you reflective about your own behaviour and language?
If we are going to provide quality environments for children and ensure the outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) are visible, then we need to start asking ourselves these questions and really considering them in a meaningful and authentic manner.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ template to “do” the EYLF…. instead we need to start thinking about what we are seeing and hearing and providing quality environments, learning opportunities and meaningful interactions for children so that they (and we) can start to experience what “belonging, being & becoming” is all about!