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Early Childhood Learning Framework

Navigating the Early Years: An Early Childhood Learning Framework

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has developed the Early Childhood Learning (ECL) Framework. The intent of the framework is to guide and reinforce early childhood educators’ (ECE) daily practice and interactions with children from birth to eight years. The framework supports ECEs as they provide optimal early learning opportunities during this critical period of development to meet children’s individual needs. The framework can also be used as a resource by other adults in the children's community of care. While the intended scope is for children from birth to age eight, the principles and goals reflected in the framework are also relevant for older school age children (nine years old and up), particularly those within regulated child care settings.

The ECL Framework aims to:

  • Encourage consistency and continuity in planning for early learning opportunities with children across different settings;
  • Provide a common professional language for those within the early learning community;
  • Highlight positive practices and help early learning practitioners reflect and plan for stimulating experiences to support children’s learning and development;
  • Integrate and complement existing early childhood learning documents; and,
  • Identify connections between programs and services for early learning continuity

  • Click on the Framework title to access the document -

    Navigating the Early Years: An Early Childhood Learning Framework (https://www.gov.nl.ca/eecd/files/Early-Learning-Framework.pdf )

    Early Childhood Learning Framework Orientation Workshop Series

    AECENL has been contracted by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Learning to provide an orientation of the new ECL Framework to those working in the early learning and child care sector.The goal of AECENL is to help individuals working in regulated early learning and child care programs to understand how to use the framework to enhance their reflective practices and to provide information on how to implement the ECL framework within their regulated early learning and child care settings.

    The orientation of the ECL Framework will be delivered as four free workshops with each workshop based on one of the framework’s four main goals for early childhood learning. The four goals are:

    • Goal One - Wellbeing and Belonging
    • Goal Two - Communication
    • Goal Three - Play and Exploration
    • Goal Four - Social Responsibility

    The workshops will be offered as webinars and online workshops.Participants of the ECL Framework Orientation Series will receive one hour of professional learning hours for each of the workshops that they complete. However it should be noted that the webinar content is the same as the online workshop content. Therefore, if you complete Goal Two- Communication as a webinar and also as an online workshop you can only use one of the Goal Two-Communication workshops for professional learning hours towards your certification renewal.

    The ECL Webinar Workshop Series

    There are four webinars in each series.The complete webinar series is free and will be offered six times over the span of twelve weeks. The webinar series will be broken into six cohorts, you are to choose the webinar series cohort that best suits your schedule (list of cohorts and dates are below). To participate in the webinar series you will need to register by completing the ECL Framework Orientation Webinar Series registration form and submit the completed form to the AECENL office. If for some reason you are unable to complete the full webinar series within your cohort the webinars have been developed in a way that you can join another cohort if need be or complete the missed webinar(s) through our online workshop series. Once registered you will receive e-mail confirmation as well as an electronic copy of the ECL Framework.It is important to read the ECL Framework prior to participating in the webinars. The webinars are completed over a four week period with a week in between each webinar. During the week in between the webinars you and the other people in your cohort will receive group e-mails that will include handouts and other material that supports the webinar that you had completed that week. The weekly group e-mails will also include questions to help you think reflectively about how the framework goal that is being focused on is being implemented in your child care setting. During the four week series you will have the same facilitator for each webinar and they are available by e-mail to answer any questions that you may have about a particular framework goal or general questions regarding the framework. AECENL also has a private Facebook page dedicated to the ECL Framework where participants from all the cohorts can share their successes and ideas.

    Webinar series schedule and cohorts

    Cohort 1A - Monday nights 7:00 - 8:00pm (September 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th)

    Cohort 1B - Wednesday nights 7:00 - 8:00pm (September 11th, 18th, 25th, and October 2nd)

    Cohort 2A - Tuesday nights 7:00 - 8:00pm (October 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th)

    Cohort 2B - Thursday nights 7:00 - 8:00pm (October 10th, 17th, 24th and Wednesday 30th due to Halloween falling on the Thursday)

    Cohort 3A - Monday nights 7:30 - 8:30pm (November 4th, Tuesday 12th due to Remembrance Day, 18th and 25th)

    Cohort 3B - Wednesday nights 7:30 - 8:30pm (November 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th)


    The ECL Framework Online Workshop Series (Coming Soon!)

    There are four online workshops, each one is based on one of the ECL Framework Goals.They can be completed in any order. To participate in the online workshop series you will need to register by completing the online workshop registration form and submit the completed form to the AECENL office. Once registered you will receive e-mail confirmation with login information as well as an electronic copy of the ECL Framework.It is important to read the ECL Framework prior to participating in the online workshops. Participants of the online workshops are invited to join AECENLs private Facebook page dedicated to the ECL Framework where participants from both the webinars and online framework series can share their successes and ideas. Participants of the ECL Framework Orientation Series will receive one hour of professional learning hours for each of the online workshops that they complete. However it should be noted that the webinar content is the same as the online workshop content. Therefore, if you complete Goal Two- Communication as a webinar and also as an online workshop you can only use one of the Goal Two-Communication workshops for professional learning hours towards your certification renewal.

    Regional Half Day Reflective Practice Sessions (Coming Soon!)

    Where the ECL Framework focuses on reflective practice AECENL feels that there should be mentoring and support throughout the ECL Framework Orientation Series. When all of the six webinar series has been offered the facilitator will coordinate a half day reflective practice session in each region.To be able to participate in the session participants will need to have completed at least one of the workshops from the ECL Framework orientation Series. The session will give webinar and online workshop participants an opportunity to meet face to face and participate in group discussions and reflective activities that focus on how the ECL Framework is being implemented in their child care settings. Dates and locations of these sessions are to be determined.Once scheduled, information will be e-mailed to webinar and online workshop participants.

    Participants of the ECL Framework Regional Half Day Reflective Practice Session will receive three hours of professional learning that can be used towards their required professional learning hours to maintain certification.

    The ECL Framework Train the Trainer Program (Coming Soon!)

    Once all of the webinar series has been completed the facilitator will offer the free ECL Framework Train the Trainer Program once in each region.The program will run over the course of one weekend and will include training for a full day on a Saturday and then a half day the following Sunday morning. The purpose of the Train the Trainer Program is to provide participants with the tools and skills that they will need in order for them to facilitate the ECL Framework Orientation Series as face to face workshops in their own communities as well as to start up professional learning communities. Participants will receive a manual with all four workshops, speaker’s notes and supporting material to facilitate the workshops. Upon completion of the Train the Trainer Program participants will receive 10 hours of professional learning that can be used towards their certification renewal.

    To participate in the ECL Framework Train the Trainer program the participants must complete and submit the Train the Trainer Program Registration Form to the AECENL office. Because of the nature of the program participants will be pre-approved by AECENL.In order to participate in the Train the Trainer Program the participant will be required to:

  • hold valid level IV certification plus 3 years’ experience in a licensed child care setting or
  • hold valid level II or III - Preschool, School-Age and Infant certification plus 5 years’ experience in a licensed child are setting and has completed AECENL’s online Workshop Facilitation Skills workshop.
  • preferably have experience with adult learning principles
  • have attended the four ECLF Orientation webinars or online workshops as a participant.
  • Special circumstances regarding facilitator qualifications may be considered on an individual basis.

    On the first day of the train the trainer program participants will learn how to deliver the four orientation of the ECL Framework workshops in their own communities.The train the trainer session will also introduce the concept of mentoring and professional learning communities. The second half day session will be mentoring and support for past webinar and online workshop participants which will include group discussions and reflective activities. The participants of the train the trainer session will participate in the half day session to co-facilitate and practice the skills that they learned the previous day.

    The dates and locations of the Train the Trainer program will be determined soon.

    ECL Framework Professional Learning Communities (Coming Soon!)

    AECENL feels that there should be mentoring and support upon completion of the ECL Framework Orientation Series. One way to provide this additional support and opportunity to reflect is to create professional learning (PL) communities where groups of individuals can come together on an ongoing basis to share their experiences of using the ECL Framework and to learn from each other. Once all of the six webinar series and Train the Trainer Program have been offered the facilitator will help participants of the Train the Train Program to coordinate PL communities in each of the regions across the province. PL communities can happen as face-to face meetings, virtual meetings (Skype, Facebook, Adobe Connect and etc.) or through group e-mails. PL communities can be comprised of different areas of learning such as examining an article, video clip or set of reflective questions. The intent of the community is for members to have an opportunity to be intellectually engaged with other members of their profession, to learn and share ideas together.

    The PL communities will be free to join.As the PL communities are formed information will be sent to participants who have completed the ECL Framework Orientation Series webinars and/or online workshops.

    For more information on the ECL Framework Orientation Series, webinars, online workshops, half day session, Train the Trainer Program or professional learning communities please contact the AECENL office at executivedirector@aecenl.ca ECL Framework