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2014 Winner - Community

Knox City Council, Alpine Shire, City of Melbourne, City of Port Phillip and Yarra Ranges Council

Seedlings: Sustainability in the Early Years

The concept of sustainability has made its way into the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, the National Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards.

The Seedlings Early Years Education for Sustainability (EYEfS) Framework, funded by the Victorian Government, was designed specifically for the Early Years Sector. It is designed to be adaptable and flexible so that it can be implemented in any service type – Maternal and Child Health, Playgroup, Family Day Care, Long Day Care, Preschool or Integrated Service under any management structure.

The Seedlings approach has been tested by 60 services with representation from all service types and management structures across the local government areas of Knox City Council, Yarra Ranges, Port Phillip, City of Melbourne and Alpine Shire.

These pilot projects have shown tremendous leadership within and across the sector, creating wonderful opportunities for the children in their care, their families and themselves as educators to help define what sustainability means to them and their community.

Participants have developed knowledge and skills, and built partnerships and collaborated with others, either in the sector or their local community.

The EYEfS Framework identified and responded to a critical gap in the sustainability education sector, providing specific tools and a framework that can be replicated across a range of early childhood contexts.