There’s an elf loose in the classroom
We are all familiar with the scenario. Sneaking into Daycare before pickup. Finding a small out of the way hiding spot and sitting and watching your child play. Unnoticed and uninterrupted, in their own environment. A small moment of parental observational doting.
The moment doesn’t really last longer that just that, a moment, and soon your child’s super powers kick in proving a 4 inch solid wood door is no match for their parent locating skills, and just like that, you’re busted and, with a quick discarding of the toy at hand and total disregard for the games or players around them, they make a bee-line, straight for you.
This little ritual dissipates somewhat over the first few weeks and months, but it never fully disappears. Even those later moments when your child knows full well that you’re there but choose to slowly crush your spirit by pretending blocks are more important, provides us with those moments of seeing our child fully engaged in daycare life. A life that doesn’t involve us, their parent.
I can’t speak on behalf of others, but for me, this spying time was usually labelled under the whole ‘I just want to see how well they play’ or ‘Is my child sharing’ kind of nonsense. But the truth? It was mainly guilt. I had to put her into daycare because it’s the 21st century and it’s what you have to do to live. As her parents, we have to work to simply provide and daycare was the only way this could happen and as a parent, I wanted reassurance that if she wasn’t in the arms of her unnecessarily doting father, then she was in the arms of the next best thing. Child Care.
Now’s probably a pretty good time to let you know I am in fact, a child care teacher. So, you know, its fare to say I carry bias.
There’s still a bit of ironing out that needs to be done with this country’s childcare system (mainly the ungodly wait list times and cost vs subsidies) however, our system from an education point of view is pretty damn spot on. A few years back a whole group of people including Child Care academics, state and tertiary governments and even the public, put together a type of guideline for early years education, called The Early Years Learning Framework. Or EYLF for short (pronounced Elf, if you’re hangin with people in the Biz.)
I won’t bore you with too much detail or history, but in a nut shell, the beauty of this document, method, approach, ethos, concept, design, attitude or whatever you want to call it, is how malleable it is? It’s fluid. It’s in constant motion and change. Why is that great in a curriculum? Because it’s a document that caters for the individual child. No child is left adrift in the sea of class built curriculum. It’s about getting the best out of each and every individual child. No matter what tickles their specifically enlightened fancy. And what’s more, it works
Truth be told, I could just sit here and rabbit on about its goodness (which reading this back it would appear I have) but instead I have included the whole document here.
The Early Years Learning Framework
Now, I don’t expect you to read it but rather open it and make yourself acquainted. Flick. Pause. Read a bit. Get a little bit of your head around it. Ask your child’s teachers. For no other reason other than to house a little more fascination for those who care for your kids and to indeed rest easy in the knowledge that if your child can’t be in the arms of their unneccesarily and totally necessarily doting parent, they are truly, entirely, dedicatedly, tirelessly and lovingly in the arms of the next best thing. Their teacher.