The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education

Full & Part-time Day Care

Standard 7: Curriculum

Encouraging each child's holistic development and learning requires the implementation of a verifiable, broad-based, documented and flexible curriculum or programme.

Component 7.1 | Component 7.2 | Component 7.3 | Component 7.4 | Component 7.5 | Component 7.6

Component 7.1 - It is evident that the child's learning and development are holistic experiences and processes, that play is central to integrated learning and development and to curriculum/programme implementation.

Signposts for Reflection - General


What is understood by holistic learning and development in your setting?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Links between developmental domains
  • Learning processes
  • Learning dispositions
  • Learning contexts
  • Integration
  • Relationships
  • Competent learners


In thinking of a child engaged in a particular activity, which aspects of learning and development are being integrated?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Language
  • Socialisation
  • Creativity
  • Visual discrimination
  • Gross/fine motor skills
  • Classification


Are there instances in which one or other dimension of the child's development and learning is being emphasised, and can you think of such a situation?


In describing a situation in which you focus on one aspect of development and learning, what possibilities are there for bringing in other aspects of learning and development?


What does the curriculum/programme being implemented in your setting say about play? See 6.1 / 6.3 / 6.5 / 6.7

Birth - 36months


What provision does the curriculum/programme you are implementing make for children whose experience is primarily supported by adults?


How does your curriculum/programme guide your relationship with the child? See 5.3 / 5.4

12 - 36 months


Same as 7.1.6 - 7.1.7


Is the curriculum/programme you are implementing likely to result in you approaching the child's learning and development from a 'subject' based perspective or from a 'thematic' perspective?


During the daily routine, what opportunities could you provide for the child to use skills and knowledge in different contexts?

2 1/2 - 6 years


Same as 7.1.8 - 7.1.10

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Component 7.2 - There is a well-referenced curriculum or programme in operation, based on established and verifiable principles of child development.

Signposts for Reflection


How does the curriculum/programme support your setting's aims and objectives for development and learning?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Sources for the curriculum/programme you use
  • How the curriculum/programme developed
  • The research base of the curriculum/programme being implemented
  • Content of the literature/references used in the development of the curriculum/programme
  • Predominant influences on the curriculum/programme in use in your setting
  • Theories of child development most influential in the curriculum/programme you use
  • How principles of child-development incorporated into the curriculum/programme support you in considering the child's learning and development as a holistic process See 7.1

Component 7.3 - The curriculum/programme is reflected in and implemented through the child's daily routine, spontaneous learning opportunities, structured activities and activities initiated by the child.

Signposts for Reflection - General


How is the daily routine, including care routines, used to implement the curriculum/programme? See 5.3 See 6.1

Think about (e.g.)

  • Arrival in the morning
  • Settling-in time
  • Play time
  • Meal/snack times
  • Trips and outings
  • Toileting and hygiene routines
  • Transitions See 13.1


What aspects of the curriculum/programme lend themselves to responding to spontaneous learning opportunities which occur during the daily routine, and to the ever-changing nature of the child's activities? See 6.5/6.7 See 11.5


How can the curriculum/programme be adapted to support the learning and development of all children, thinking especially of children with special needs? See 14.2 / 14.3


How can spontaneous learning opportunities be used to implement an element of the curriculum/programme?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Curriculum/programme content
  • Themes and topics
  • Extending learning
  • Dimensions of development
  • Observation
  • Language
  • Child's interests
  • 'Meaning making'

12 - 36 months


Can you give an example of a planned, structured activity you have devised, and the aspects of child development and learning being addressed in this activity? See 1.1 / 1.2

Think about (e.g.)

  • Creative activities
  • Small/large groups
  • Tidy-up time
  • Table-top activities
  • Outdoor play/games


What aspects of child learning and development are being addressed in this activity?


In child-initiated activity, what strategies do you use to incorporate your curriculum/programme goals? See 5.4

Think about (e.g.)

  • Your comments
  • Descriptive/expressive language
  • Questions
  • Participating in play in character

2 1/2 - 6 years


Same as 7.3.5 - 7.3.7

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Component 7.4 - Curriculum/programme implementation is achieved through a variety of adult strategies, close and supportive relationships in the setting and a wide range of experiences which are made available to the child.

Signposts for Reflection - General


What strategies do you use in implementing the curriculum/programme? See 5.4

Think about (e.g.)

  • Modelling
  • Facilitating
  • Language/body language
  • Enabling
  • Playing
  • Observing and listening
  • Structuring
  • Enabling interactions between children


How are you pro-active in becoming involved in the child's learning and development through curriculum/programme implementation? See 6.6

Think about (e.g.)

  • Individual attention
  • Emotional presence
  • Interactions
  • Engagement
  • Sharing interests
  • Joint projects


What range of experiences are provided for the child in the course of the daily routine? See 2.5 / 2.6 / 2.7 See 6.3

Think about (e.g.)

  • Outdoor play
  • Activity areas
  • Rhyme, story and song
  • Care of pets
  • Physical activity
  • Creativity
  • Quiet time


What impact does the nature of your relationship with the child have on their learning and development? See 5.4 See 9.6

Think about (e.g.)

  • Caring
  • Responsive
  • Sensitive
  • Supportive


What is the range of relationships within the setting which have an impact on the child's learning and development?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Management
  • Staff
  • Parents

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Component 7.5 -The curriculum or programme of activities being implemented is documented and the documentation is available and in use.

See 6.7

Signposts for Reflection


How does the curriculum/programme documentation support implementation?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Type of documentation
  • Ensuring the documentation is the most up-to-date available
  • Making all of the documentation available to everyone who is interacting with the child in the setting
  • Frequent usage of the documentation
  • Additional documentation you produce yourself to support curriculum/programme implementation See 6.7
  • How often you document your curriculum/programme planning (e.g., year plan; season/term plan; monthly/fortnightly/weekly/daily plan, etc.)

Component 7.6 -Planning for curriculum or programme implementation is based on the child's individual profile, which is established through systematic observation and assessment for learning.

Signposts for Reflection


What are the different elements of your system of child observation and assessment?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Observation
  • Parents
  • Child's self-assessment
  • Participating in play
  • Interactions
  • Listening
  • Informal
  • Consultation with colleagues
  • Reflection
  • Ongoing cycles


How do you record the information gained from your observations and assessment?

Think about (e.g.)

  • Daily observation notebook
  • Observation templates
  • Child's portfolio
  • Photos/tapes/video, etc.
  • Process as opposed to outcome
  • Individual Education Plans (IEPs)


How do you acknowledge and validate cultural experiences and knowledge in the curriculum/programme? See 14.3

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