Developing Your Child’s Sense of Being, Belonging and Becoming in Kindergarten

06 January 2022

Within the Early Years Learning Framework, there are three basic concepts that children’s lives are characterized by. They are Belonging, Being and Becoming. This refers to how a child from even before birth is linked to family, community, culture and place. Through these relationships, a child’s development and learning take place as they begin to explore, develop interests, create their own identity and make meaning to the world around them. The three concepts, Belonging, Being & Becoming, represent life and living and are constantly referred to throughout the EYLF.

Child’s Sense of Belonging

“Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong is integral to human existence”. To understand that you are part of a group, feeling that you are part of a family. Having a feeling that you are linked with others and experience important relationships. A child’s sense of belonging can be referred to their relationships with family members – recognizing mum, dad, siblings, grandparents etc. Within early childhood, a child’s sense of belonging can relate to how comfortable a child is within the setting, having a sense of trust and security with childcare professionals. When a child has a sense of belonging they are more confident, feel more secure, be more creative and more likely to explore the world of learning.

The following are the strategies to include in belonging. First is being respectful and accepting of  diversity, showing mutual respect, having knowledge of families within the centre, providing positive and caring relationships, engaging and interacting with children, making families feel welcomed, appreciating children for their individuality, create meaningful learning within the environment, meet each child’s needs, and provide a sense of security

Child’s Sense of Being

“Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world.” To experience what is happening now, life in the present. For children, understanding that they are accepted for who they are and knowing that others care about them. Within early childhood, a child’s sense of being can relate to how childcare professionals show respect to each child, through greetings, conversations and actions. When a child has a sense of being they build and maintain relationships with others, take part in life’s journey and face challenges in everyday life.

The strategies to include in being include appreciating skills, providing opportunities for children to explore and learn, extending on children’s interests, embracing culture, supporting individual children, having respectful relationships with children and families, understanding children uniqueness and individuality, recognizing each child’s values and skills, allowing children to express themselves, and celebrating children’s achievements

Child’s Sense of Becoming

To experience change through different events and circumstances in one’s life. A child’s sense of becoming refers to the changes they experience as they grow, learn and develop. Within early childhood, a child’s sense of being changes over time as they gain knowledge, extend their understandings, create relationships and develop skills. This enables a child to learn to participate actively in today’s society.

The strategies to include in becoming include implementing school readiness, encouraging independence, focusing on the child’s positives, enabling children to be confident, reflecting on individual growth, aspiring to others, acknowledging self, maintaining and developing relationships, building foundations for learning, and expanding on skills. As children participate in everyday life, they develop interests and construct their own identities and understandings of the world.