Building independence at the ELC with routines

The National Early Years Learning Framework, Belonging, Being and Becoming explains that children develop a foundation for future success in learning when following the outcomes of the framework. The framework helps our children develop a strong sense of identity, wellbeing and can become confident and involved learners.

ELC routines

At the Early Learning Centre this term we have welcomed new families in both the Monti and Preschool rooms. We aim to make each day a successful learning opportunity for all ELC children and believe that establishing routines is beneficial to children, parents and teachers. Working together as a team we can help with the challenges of starting at a new centre establishing routines whenever possible. Children (and adults) feel the most secure when their lives are predictable. Then children can feel a sense of trust and may become free to do their ‘work’, which is to play, explore, and learn.

Routines are important because they give children a sense of security and control over their environment. Children learn what to expect at various times in the day and as they begin to participate in these routines.

Young children do not yet fully understand the concept of time, so they do not order their lives by hours and minutes, but rather by the events that happen, especially routine events that occur in a pattern. When events happen in the same order every day, children have a better understanding of their world, and so feel more secure.

At the ELC we discuss in the morning group times the events planned for the day, which gives children a way to order and organize their thoughts. Often children can be seen referring to the Visual Timetable to refresh ideas and plan their day. When young children know what to expect, they become more confident in both themselves and the world around them.

learning routines


At the Early Learning Centre parents and family can make routines most effective at daily arrival and departures by allowing enough time to take each task within the routine slowly and being sure to discuss each individual task. At the start of each session, you can share the time when unpacking belongings, applying sunscreen and both children and adults signing in appropriately. In Preschool the children use the interactive whiteboard to drag their name into the “school house” as well as copying or tracing their name on the clipboard. In Monti, the children post their name into the box at the door telling us all that they are in attendance.

Other ELC routines typically include –


  • Arrival/greeting times
  • Inside work cycles
  • Bathroom times
  • Packing up
  • Relaxation
  • Snack or lunch times
  • Story or music groups
  • Outdoor work cycle
routines for children


Everyday actions are rich in opportunities to support your child’s learning and development while having fun. Routines offer the chance to build self-confidence, curiosity, social skills, self-control, communication skills, and much more.