At QCCS we operate an Emergent Curriculum throughout our centres.

What is the Emergent Curriculum?

The Emergent Curriculum is largely based around the interests of a child or group of children. As the child shows interest in a topic or activity, early childhood educators facilitate this interest by providing resources and materials to help guide their learning, exploration and discovery.

The aim is to find out how children learn and how they use their personal experiences and knowledge to reach conclusions.

Emergent Curriculum is socially and intellectually engaging and personally meaningful to children. Educators follow the children’s lead and then introduce new and exciting activities to sustain their interests and deepen their explorations. The emphasis is on developing social skills, problem solving skills, fostering independence and building a foundation for lifelong learning.

Queensland Childcare Services has been working in partnership with the Australian Institute of Early Childhood Studies to provide in depth training seminars for all staff on The Early Years Learning Framework and the Emergent Curriculum. We feel that we as early childhood educators are always looking for ways to improve our educational practices that can lead to more effective learning environments. Focusing on children’s interests is a much more effective way of inspiring delight in the learning environment.

The 5 Learning Areas

The Emergent Curriculum is focused on 5 Learning areas:

  • Sense of identity
  • Sense of community & world
  • Sense of well-being
  • Sense of confidence & involvement
  • Sense of effective communication

These 5 learning areas replace the “Long term goals” that educators previously used, and are used in various emergent curriculum documentation as educators reflect and interpret which learning areas relate to the child’s interests.

How is it delivered?

  • Child-led activities and projects enhanced by the educator’s contributions
  • Involvement of community members and families
  • Excursions

How is it documented?

Documentation evolves during play and enquiry which educators extend upon using a combination of the following methods:

  • Learning stories which include photos and describes the progress of a child’s learning, providing direction for further development.
  • Weekly programs
  • Webbing
  • Weekly reflective diaries
  • Individual child portfolios
  • Learning Pods
  • Digital Photo Frames

Goals of the Emergent Curriculum

Our first and most important goal with emergent curriculum is to inspire delight, curiosity, and inquiry in the classroom. These are the greatest gifts our teachers can give a child.


Children learn through natural curiosity, doing and self-directing, not through sitting before a teacher who imparts knowledge.

Educators will facilitate the learning and extend as much as possible right there and then as the child’s discovery unfolds.

As a result, children will develop a love for learning which will help them succeed in their future education. Their delight and spontaneous wonder should always be the first priority.