Welcome to the ELDAs!

On this page you will find information on the 6 ELDAs with links to details about the Aims and Observations for current customers.

The ELDAs are Early Learning Development Areas as set out in the NCF.

The NCF is the National Curriculum Framework.

 
The NCF ECD programme incorporates the 6 ELDAs
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ELDA 1 - Well-being
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The child’s voice:
I need to experience an environment where I can enjoy good health, nutrition, safety and security and where I can develop confidence and resilience. I want to be happy. This is my right. 
I am usually physically very active and my body is developing and growing rapidly. I need enough nutritious food. Proper health care and a safe environment are very important to ensure growth and development. This is my right. 

What is ‘Well-being’ about?
When children have a strong sense of well-being they: 
Enjoy their rights and gradually learn to carry out their responsibilities towards themselves, others and their environment.
Enjoy good health (from before birth). 
Live in a safe and secure environment. 
Are well-nourished from conception (in the womb) right through to the age of five and entry into the public schooling system. 
Develop abilities and an interest in physical activities.
Have an ability to respond to difficult circumstances and daily stresses (they are strong and resilient and experience feelings of happiness).
Well-being therefore includes the emotional, social as well as the physical aspects of children's development.

Well-being is very important because when children are healthy, physically active and well-nourished then they are motivated to learn. The state of children's well-being also depends on whether they are valued, respected and supported by the adults in their families and in their ECD programmes to deal with the daily stresses in their lives.

Well-being cannot be separated from learning. This early learning area is extremely important for all children from conception through to the age of eighteen and beyond. 

Adults need to pay attention to children's well-being 
Children's rights form the basis for all well-being and learning. 
Children with disabilities and special needs have the right to receive attention to enable them to develop and learn to their greatest potential.
Adults need to build children's rights into all activities they offer when working with and for children. 
The best interests of babies, toddlers and young children form the basis for all interaction: 
Observe all children carefully to note their needs and interests. Watch what they do and how they react. 
Listen to children carefully from birth. Children communicate by making sounds (for example, crying, screaming, gurgling, laughing) through body language and through language (for example, with words and drawings, make-believe play). 
Think first about what is best for the child.
Take all children's views into account, including children living with disabilities. 
Keep records to share with parents and with professional colleagues (for example, health, social development, educational colleagues when necessary). 
Children look forward to being with adults who understand them, like them and help them to grow and to learn through supportive relationships. 
Adults need to provide opportunities for babies, toddlers and young children to learn about: 
Their rights and responsibilities as they grow. 
Health and safety though regular basic routines including meal times with nutritious food and routines for hygiene, safety and security. 
Their bodies and their abilities to move and to manipulate tools. 
Promote children's independence and resilience by encouraging them to make choices and decisions. 

Additional information on the Aims for each ELDA, developmental guidelines, examples of activities, assessment guidelines and observations are only available to our current customers.

Customers please click on the button below for the appropriate age group to see the information on ELDA 1 Well-being.

ELDA 2 - Identity and Belonging
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The child’s voice:
I need to experience an environment where I develop a strong sense of self, experience positive relationships and celebrate differences. 

What is ‘Identity and Belonging’ about?
Identity and belonging is strongly related to well-being. It is concerned with personal development, social development, secure relationships and celebrating differences. The stronger the child's identity and sense of belonging, the more resilient he or she will be. 
Identity relates to children's development of their sense of self. 
They are making sense of who they are through finding out about what they know, what they can do and cannot do. 
They are building ideas of their interests and abilities. In order to build awareness of their strengths and confidence in getting to know themselves and their world they need to develop socially. 
Relationships with adults (practitioners, family and community members) and other children are important to help children build a sense of self. 
Belonging is related to children's identity. 
When children have a strong sense of belonging then they have secure relationships with adults and/or communities that have certain values, traditions and beliefs. 
This gives them messages of how they depend on other people to make sense of themselves. 
A sense of belonging helps them to know where and with whom they belong. 
Identity and belonging are related. They affect children's attitudes about themselves and others. They also shape views on equality and difference. 
Children's rights form the basis for identity and belonging. Each child has the right to a name, a family, shelter and so on. 
Children with disabilities and special needs (both intrinsic and as a result of the environment) have the right to receive attention to enable them to develop and learn to their greatest potential.

Adults need to pay attention to children's Identity and Sense of Belonging 
Attitude to learning and confidence to try out new things – their excitement, interest, experiments, curiosities and explorations. 
Sense of self-care – their efforts to gain self-respect and attention to their own hygiene and care. 
Relationship with others- their ability to form relationships and work with others. 
Sense of belonging – their ability to understand and respect their own needs and the differences of others views, cultures and beliefs which affects their interactions. 
All of these form the four aims for the Early Learning and Development Area - Identity and Belonging.

Additional information on the Aims for each ELDA, developmental guidelines, examples of activities, assessment guidelines and observations are only available to our current customers.

Customers please click on the button below for the appropriate age group to see the information on ELDA 2 - Identity and Belonging.

ELDA 3 - Communicating
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The child’s voice:
I need to experience an environment where I can learn to listen attentively, speak openly, learn to love books, stories and reading, record and to write, and to get ready for formal reading and writing as I grow and develop.

What is ‘Communication’ about?
Most children are born with the ability to communicate. Newborn babies communicate their needs by crying and adults listen and respond. Responses build trust and a feeling of belonging in the newborn baby. 
Communication is very important for building a strong sense of well-being, for building a strong sense of identity and belonging, for exploring and making meaning of mathematics, the creative processes and a knowledge and understanding of the world. 
Most children are social beings who love to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. They do this through communication which involves gestures, body language, cooing, gurgling, babbling, talking, listening, thinking and understanding. We all make meaning of our experiences through communication. 
Verbal and non-verbal communication (and assisted communication for children with special communication needs) is extremely important. 
Children use many ways to communicate which go beyond words, phrases and sentences. Methods of communicating include dance, music, art, pictures, signing, body movement, and creative play. All of these methods are used to share experiences, to reflect upon experiences and to explore the world and new ideas. Understanding of the world grows as children's communication becomes more developed and complex. 
Most children learn to communicate through language by first listening and watching, feeling and sensing, and then experimenting with speaking words and phrases. Adults demonstrate language in everything they say and enunciate (vocalise). Babies listen and watch lip movement and expressions. 
Children who receive a firm grounding in their mother tongue are better able to learn new ideas and words. They use their home language to develop their sense of identity and for conceptual development. 
Young children learn to communicate by: 
Listening to sounds in the world and to other human beings, and especially to adults. They hear the sounds and the music of the sounds (high and low, soft and loud, slow and fast, sweet and harsh). They make meaning of the sounds. 
Speaking by making meaningful sounds to others as newborn babies (crying for hunger, cold, wetness), then babies (gurgling, laughing, crying, imitating sounds), toddlers (saying and trying out words and sentences) and as young children (speaking in sentences). They copy the sounds and then the words and sentences that they hear. they also copy the way in which the words and sentences are spoken (for example, spoken gently, or shouted). 
'Reading' and making meaning of other people's language, tone of voice and body language. Later on, toddlers and young children may see that drawings and written symbols have meaning too. They will talk about their own drawings and tell what they see in pictures and other children's drawings. 
’Writing' by drawing and by making marks, helps toddlers and young children to make meaning of their experiences. Gradually children may recognise formal writing such as their own names. It is,  however, not useful to teach young children to read and to write. This is usually only begun in Grade 1.
The role of the ECD practitioner is to promote communication in all its forms from birth. This is very important. 

Adults need to pay attention to children's communication skills 
Children's rights form the basis for all communication: the right to be heard and the right to speak and the right to communicate in her home language. 
Children with disabilities and special needs have the right to receive attention to enable them to develop and communicate and learn to their greatest potential. 
In order to be good communicators adults need to listen to children, interpret what they are communicating, respond using good language (not 'baby talk'). Children love it when adults model good communication. This helps them to strengthen their communication skills through imitation.
Adults need to be aware of their body language and the messages that their expressions and movements and behaviours convey to babies, toddlers and young children (as well as all children and adults). 
Adults must also speak, sing, read and listen to young children to support them as they learn to speak and listen, and later to read and write.

Additional information on the Aims for each ELDA, developmental guidelines, examples of activities, assessment guidelines and observations are only available to our current customers.

Customers please click on the button below for the appropriate age group to see the information on ELDA 3 - Communicating

ELDA 4 - Exploring Mathematics
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The child’s voice:
I need to experience an environment where I can find patterns, make connections, recognise relationships, work with numbers, sort out objects, match and classify things. This helps me to think, solve problems and ask questions.  

What is ‘Exploring Mathematics’ about?
It is about children developing an understanding of how to solve problems, how to reason and how to use mathematical concepts in their environment. 
Children will use their bodies, minds and senses to explore their world. 
When they do this they are able to develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes. 
They form ideas and test these out. They also learn to refine these ideas as they interact with their peers and adults. 
Mathematical concepts develop as children investigate and communicate their ideas about numbers, counting, shape, space and measures. 

Adults need to pay attention to children's explorations related to Mathematics 
Creativity is strongly related to mathematical and scientific thinking (curiosity, exploration, problem identification and problem solving). 
Children with disabilities and special needs have the right to receive attention to enable them to develop mathematical concepts and learn to their greatest potential. 
Children need to be encouraged to explore the real world to solve problems, design things, match, and count and create their own questions. 
They need be supported in the language need to develop mathematical concepts and to communicate their ideas. 
Adults need to value the different ways in which children will present their ideas. 

Additional information on the Aims for each ELDA, developmental guidelines, examples of activities, assessment guidelines and observations are only available to our current customers.

Customers please click on the button below for the appropriate age group to see the information on ELDA 4 Exploring Mathematics

Aims and Observations for Seniors
ELDA 5 - Creativity
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The child’s voice:
I need to experience an environment where I can identify challenges and problems, try out solutions in safety and freedom and experiment with play, make believe play, drawing, painting, cutting and pasting, modelling and music, rhythm, dance and drama. 

What is Creativity about?
Creativity means that children produce new and useful ideas and solutions to problems and challenges. To create is to invent and to find solutions by asking questions such as 'What is happening here? Why is it happening? What effects does it have? What can we do about it? What if I ....?'
Young children are creative in all aspects of their lives, including developing language, exploring mathematics, promoting their own well-being, developing a strong identity and a sense of belonging, and grappling with questions about the world.
The main purpose of creativity is to encourage children to be creative, imaginative individuals, with an appreciation of the arts and the importance of critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Young children are naturally creative and their natural ways of learning and solving problems are through play, investigating, discovering and asking questions.
They do this especially in make-believe play, in the visual arts, (drawings, paintings, modelling, making pictures) and through music (singing, making music with instruments and making rhymes) and also in dance and movement.
Visual Arts
Visual arts develop sensory-motor skills and fine and gross motor co-ordination through the manipulation of materials and the mastery of a variety of art techniques. 
Two-dimensional (2D) work aims to enrich the child’s experience of the real world through visual and sensory stimulation, discussion and questioning, and through encouraging the drawing of the child's experiences in the world. There is no ‘right’ way to draw, and children should be encouraged to express themselves freely, without fearing criticism.
Three-dimensional (3D) work develops the concept of shape in space through playing with sand and mud, joining and moulding pieces of clay, gluing or pasting of paper onto paper, cutting out shapes, folding, tying and wrapping. 
Performing Arts
Performing arts allows young children the opportunity to creatively communicate, dramatise, sing, make music, dance and explore movement.
Through the performing arts, babies, toddlers and young children develop their physical skills and creativity.
Performing Arts stimulates memory, promotes relationships and builds self-confidence and self- discipline.
Creative activities and skills prepare the body and voice, and use games as tools for learning skills.
Improvising and interpreting allow children to create music, movement and drama alone and collaboratively.
Creativity is strongly related to mathematical and scientific thinking (curiosity, exploration, problem identification and problem solving).

Adults need to pay attention to children's desire to be creative 
Children's rights form the basis for all creativity. Children have the right to explore, to be curious and to investigate ways of recording and depicting their experiences. 
Children with disabilities and special needs have the right to receive attention to enable them to develop and learn to their greatest potential. 
Encourage young children to use their imagination, to tackle problems with interest and confidence, to manipulate and work with different materials, move and dance and make music. 
Young children should explore and develop their ideas based on their personal experiences, using their senses, emotions and observations. 
The process of creating is more important than the products. 
The focus of the learning should be on the development of skills through enjoyable, experiential processes, rather than on working towards highly polished products.

Additional information on the Aims for each ELDA, developmental guidelines, examples of activities, assessment guidelines and observations are only available to our current customers.

Customers please click on the button below for the appropriate age group to see the information on ELDA 5 Creativity

ELDA 6 - Knowledge and understanding of the world
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The child’s voice
I want to make sense of my world through active participation in my real world and through practical experiments. Please support my learning by providing me opportunities to learn about people, objects, places, plants and creatures from my natural environment.

What is Knowledge and Understanding of the world about?
Children's worlds include their immediate physical surroundings (people, animals, vegetables and minerals of all kinds); the history of their own families and later on their neighbourhoods; the geography of their surroundings (for example, hills, rivers, flat spaces, rocks, weather and climate) and the toolsthat they use such as pencils, scissors, cutlery, household equipment, as well as cameras, mobile phones, computers (technology). 
Children in the early years are curious about the world from birth. They learn about their world through exploration and by being exposed to different resources such as people, the media and what they learn from their senses.
Children's learning is improved when they gain accurate information about their world and about people in their world. Their understanding of caring for people and creatures in their environment increases. 
Children grow in confidence when they are encouraged to show their knowledge and skills in practical ways.

Adults need to pay attention to children's Knowledge and Understanding of the world 
Children's rights form the basis for all exploration and learning about the world.
Children with disabilities and special needs have the right to receive attention to enable them to develop and learn about the world to their greatest potential. 
Children need adults to extend their experiences of the world.
They need regular opportunities to learn about what is in their environment and how it is changing. Adults need to create activities where children's interests and need for exploration is catered for. 

Additional information on the Aims for each ELDA, developmental guidelines, examples of activities, assessment guidelines and observations are only available to our current customers.

Customers please click on the button below for the appropriate age group to see the information on ELDA 6 Knowledge and Understanding