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Early Childhood Learning Framework


Navigating the Early Years: An Early Childhood Learning Framework

The Department of Education 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 link to access the document - Navigating the Early Years: An Early Childhood Learning Framework ( )

Cadre d’apprentissage des jeunes enfants (


Early Childhood Learning Framework Online Orientation Workshop Series

AECENL has been contracted by the Department of Education to provide an overview of the 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 is delivered as four free online 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 online workshops 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 (see form on left-hand side) and submit the completed form to the AECENL office. Once registered you will receive e-mail confirmation with login information (please check your junk mail). It is important to read the ECL Framework prior to participating in the online workshops. Participants of the online ECL Framework Orientation Workshop 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 online workshop series is the same content as the ECL Framework Orientation Series that was offered as a webinar series during the fall of 2019 and winter of 2021. Therefore, if you complete Goal Two- Communication as the webinar and also as the online workshop you can only use one of the Goal Two-Communication workshops for professional learning hours towards your certification renewal.

Early Childhood Learning Framework Idea Sharing Private Facebook Group

AECENL has a private Facebook page dedicated to the ECL Framework where people can share their successes and ideas about the ECL Framework, as well there are articles, activities and professional learning opportunities posted that reinforce the framework’s goals and principles. Here is the link to the Early Childhood Learning Framework Idea Sharing Private Facebook Group:


For additional information on the ECL Framework Orientation Series Online Workshops  please contact the AECENL office at or (709) 579-8993.