What is the Early Learning Framework?

Child building with blocks The Early Learning Framework is a guide to support early childhood programs in Ontario. With six distinct principles, the Early Learning Framework provides a shared language and understanding of child development. The goal is to support you, early childhood educators and other early learning practitioners, as you work in early childhood settings.

The Early Learning Framework is based on research and perspectives from diverse fields of knowledge. It recognizes the distinct values held by families, communities, and cultures. It complements most curriculum approaches. The framework is a dynamic document that will continue to evolve as it is used by those who work with and care for young children.

Who can use the Early Learning Framework?

This website is intended for anyone who works with or cares for children from birth to eight years of age. It can be used to guide practice in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Child care centres
  • Before and after school programs
  • Ontario Early Years Centres, Parenting and Family Literacy Centres, and other parenting programs
  • Kindergarten and primary classrooms
  • Home child care
  • Aboriginal child care programs
  • Early intervention programs
  • Recreational programs
  • Nursery and preschool programs

Early Learning Framework Full Report

For complete details, including the background, research review, continuum of development and other sections of the Best Start Expert Panel Report, see Early Learning For Every Child Today: A framework for Ontario early childhood settings.

This website includes:

  • Highlights from each ELF principle
  • Examples of how each ELF principle can be put into action
  • Questions and considerations for further discussion

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