​The five learning and development outcomes

If your child attends an early childhood education and care service (long day care, family day care, out of school hours care or kindergarten) in Victoria, your child's educators will base their program on The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) for all Children from Birth to Eight Years and the National Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). These frameworks assist early childhood professionals to consider how to work with you and your child, and what learning and development outcomes are important and appropriate for young children as they grow and mature.

The frameworks set high standards for how early childhood professionals work with you and your child.

The frameworks list five Learning and Development Outcomes for all children from birth to eight years:

  • Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
  • Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
  • Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
  • Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
  • Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators ​

The frameworks assist early childhood professionals, including practitioners who work directly with children in early childhood settings, family support workers, play therapists, health professionals, education officers in cultural organisations and school teachers, to work together and with families to progress children's learning.​​ Early childhood professionals will keep the five outcomes in mind as they talk with you about your child and plan learning activities that build on your child's interests and abilities. They use the five outcomes as they listen to, watch and talk to your child in order to assess your child's progress and plan for future learning.

Early childhood professionals will keep in touch with you regularly to talk with you about your child's progress. They may use photos, share your child's artwork and write up conversations they have with your child to show you what your child is making, drawing, saying and doing. This helps you appreciate what your child has learned and is learning.

If you and your child attend a Maternal and Child Health service, playgroup or are involved with an early childhood intervention service the practitioners will also base their work on the VEYLDF. They will focus on the five learning and development outcomes when they work with you and your child.

Professionals working with young children use sound early childhood pedagogical practices including play-based learning to assist children to achieve these five outcomes. Play is valuable and considered essential for its ability to stimulate a wide range of children's intellectual, physical, social capabilities and creative abilities. Children learn at different rates, in different ways and at different times. For some children and families, learning and development involves considerable effort and requires much perseverance.

Children engaged in learning show concentration, persistence and curiosity. Adults support children's engagement through warm and responsive relationships and lively conversations about children's interests in every-day life.

Environments that support learning are lively and flexible. These environments promote opportunities for sustained shared thinking and learning between adults and children. Conversations with children about their interests help develop confident learners.

Babies and toddlers

Babies and toddlers are motivated from within to develop and learn. Learning occurs in everyday experiences and spaces both indoors and outdoors.  Babies and young children's learning and physical development are evident through their movement patterns and basic motor skills – grasping, crawling, running, jumping, hopping, balancing and skipping. Complex sensory, motor and cognitive development inform ongoing learning. The quality of interactions and conversations with adults supports development of all learning including rich language skills.

Children aged between 3-5 years

In the preschool years, children increasingly engage with others in imaginative and more complex play. Active involvement in learning builds children's understanding of the concepts, creative thinking and inquiry processes necessary for lifelong learning.

Children have many opportunities to challenge and extend their thinking and get along with others through interactions and negotiations. Older children enjoy learning through playing games with rules eg board games and physical games. Children's active participation in play that is guided by rules supports them to regulate behaviour over time. Children's active involvement changes what they know, can do and value, and transforms their learning.

By the time children enter school, they have already developed key communication, learning and thinking skills: learned to build relationships; and formed a strong sense of their own identity. These skills and knowledge are the foundation for learning at school, and for lifelong learning.

Common learning goals link the efforts of families and early childhood professionals to support children's learning and development. ​​

To advance their learning children need: 

  • to be actively engaged in learning
  • environments that include a range of resources to explore and manipulate
  • time to explore, investigate, ask questions, solve problems and negotiate with others
  • quiet spaces and time to reflect and relax.
  • time and people to discuss their ideas, questions and investigations
  • adults who encourage, support and challenge them to explore, communicate, think, create and construct.​

To learn more:

Ab​out the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework 

Advice for parents

Resource Booklet - Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)

About Maternal and Child Health Services






page updated 19/01/2015