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Community – Children are connected with and contribute to their world
Introduction to this Outcome
From birth, children learn to see themselves as individuals, accepting their uniqueness and the uniqueness of others. Children strive for connection and seek belonging - to people, country, place and communities that help them to learn about local ways of being. They learn about sharing common values, traditions and practices. As children experience settings beyond the home and kinship groups in which they live, their experiences, relationships and connections broaden. Across the period from birth to eight years, through the support of family and others, children learn more ways to connect and contribute. Contributing in social settings strengthens children’s sense of identity, wellbeing and belonging. Children’s wellbeing is linked closely to the wellbeing of their community.
Children increasingly enjoy being in groups and contributing to family and social life from birth. Children who are strongly connected to their world participate in shared everyday routines, events and experiences, and use opportunities to contribute to decisions. They help and show concern for others, learn to respect those who are different from them and practise peaceful and inclusive ways of resolving conflicts. They come to understand fair play and how to make a contribution to a group. Children who are strongly connected establish friendships with other children. They test their responsibilities and rights - and those of others - in familiar settings, such as their family, playgroups, early childhood settings, classrooms and playgrounds, friendship groups and in communities.
Children become aware of the impact of the local environment, both physical and social, on their lives. They learn ways to care for the environment and contribute to a sustainable future.
Children are citizens with equal rights and are consulted meaningfully, with families and communities, about issues that affect them. Consulting with families and children in order to understand their cultural and everyday traditions and routines informs practice. Providing equitable opportunities for children with diverse capabilities and life circumstances supports engagement and connection, enabling them to contribute positively to their world.
Some children require carefully constructed experiences to affirm their belonging and connection with the group and to facilitate their participation in local community experiences. Some may require explicit direction and support to help them to feel safe and to belong. Observing closely and taking cues from the child can show adults how best to help a child connect with and contribute effectively to their world.