Guidance for teachers and families
What are the early childhood guided learning packages?
The early childhood guided learning packages have been developed by early childhood professionals and learning designers to support learning at home for 3-5 year old preschool children.
The guided learning packages:
- can be used by early childhood teachers and families to support children’s learning at home
- are launched weekly on a Tuesday and can be used in full or in part depending on usual hours of attendance at an early childhood service and the adult guidance and interaction available
- include a range of guided learning and play based activities such as shared reading, singing, physical movement, creative arts and other engaging challenges specifically designed for this age group
- support children’s learning outcomes and link to the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia
- are available in digital and printable form and can be adjusted to allow access without technology.
Why is learning at home important for young children?
It is understood that ‘Learning outcomes are most likely to be achieved when early childhood educators work in partnership with families.’ (Early Years Learning Framework, page 13).
Families play a vital role in supporting young children’s learning, both at home and in partnership with early childhood services and schools. While research shows the positive impacts of participation in quality early childhood programs, many children have experienced long absences from preschool or childcare in recent times. Now, more than ever, continuity of learning is an important practice to support children’s engagement in their learning, whether it be in the home learning environment or the early childhood service.
It is hoped that the early childhood guided learning packages will support families, educators, and most importantly, children to continue learning at home while they are not attending preschool and keep connected to their teachers and educators.
There are a number of other resources to support families and children learning from home in the resources section at the bottom of this page.
How do the packages work?
The guided learning packages can be used in partnership between families and educators and adapted to be used in a suitable way for each family. It is recommended that families interact with their children and help guide the learning as they move through the activities. It is beneficial if families can have regular touch points with educators to share insights, ideas, and assessment information on their child’s learning. Children don’t have to complete a full day of activities. They may prefer to choose what activities they would like to do on any given day.
This video walk through of the guided learning packages explains the features and layout of the website where the packages are housed.
How can adults support children’s learning?
Families are encouraged to follow their child’s lead on the activities as much as possible and let them lead the play and learning. This supports children to become capable and confident learners.
Children are encouraged when adults join in on their play, are enthusiastic to engage in experiences, and help them think of ideas through talking. The activities provide a range of opportunities for adults to engage with children in play and conversations that promote learning.
Educators and families can ask real questions that they don’t know the answer to when engaging in conversations with children, like: “What did you like about that?”; What are you wondering about?” or “Why do you think that happened?” and “What do you think might happen next?” If your child speaks a language other than English, you can engage in discussions and play using your home language.
Celebrate children’s attempts and successes when engaging in the learning activities. For example, if they write a few squiggles to represent their name, comment that the squiggles look like writing and celebrate that.
Accessing the activities
The activities are available online and in print to cater for as many contexts as possible. The following tips will support access to the activities.
An internet connection is required. We acknowledge that not all internet connections are created equal and not all families have enough devices to share. We try to ensure many of our activities can be completed by preschool children offline following viewing of a video or image on our website.
If you are using a metered data connection like a monthly plan keep an eye on the amount of data being used. We do have a lot of video content and images and they can use a lot of data. Please note we cannot be responsible for extra costs associated with using our website. If you are concerned, we recommend that you use our print version.
Tips for phones
A lot of people are using mobile phones to access our site. We have tried our best to design an experience that a preschool child can manage with a bit of support, but this can be a challenge.
On phones and tablets, clicking on links and viewing videos can sometimes take a child away from our site and this might be confusing. If this happens, reassure the child and help them come back to the website.
If you haven’t already done so, consider making a link to the website on your smart phone or tablet. These instructions are suitable for our two most popular browsers. Search the web for instructions about other browsers.
On a laptop or desktop computer
Create a short cut on the desktop on your device and show your child how to use it. In general, this involves highlighting the URL in your browser and dragging it onto your desktop.
When using the printed version of the packages, there are a variety of options depending on the child’s access to internet and devices. The printed packs can be used without technology but also include QR codes with some links to learning videos for children who may have intermittent access. If families can’t access the QR codes, there are clear instructions for where they can start each activity.
Other family resources
There is a range of other family resources available to support children’s learning at home:
- Early Learners – Animations for families
- Learning every day and in every way through play podcast
- Supporting young learners
- Learning outcome cards (translated in 15 languages)
- Everyday learner cards
- Everyday routine cards
- Other resources including family resource booklets