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ORICL is a new tool co-developed with professionals, policy-makers and providers, and trialled in long day care and family day care services to support infant-toddler educators to:

  • Observe
  • Reflect on
  • Improve the quality of individual Children’s Learning experiences

The tool does this by considering the unique contextual factors in the education and care setting that impact each child’s development, learning and wellbeing. Unlike other tools it does not assess quality at the group or room level, it encourages educators to observe, reflect and improve children's learning by considering children’s own actions, and those of educators and peers in response to children.

ORICL is unique in supporting individualised observation and reflection on children’s experiences.

See more information on the ORICL Tool here.


Research and development

Background: By the age of 2 years, 59% of Australian children attend an early childhood service for a regular part of each week. However, a significant proportion of these services do not meet Australia’s National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care benchmark for quality, rated against the National Quality Standard (NQS). Under-performance is most evident in Quality Area 1: Educational Program and Practice that includes Standard 1.1 Program, Element 1.1.3 Program learning opportunities, Element 1.3.1 Assessment and planning cycle and Element 1.3.2 Critical Reflection. The ORICL tool has been designed to address this gap and enhance educators' knowledge and practice.

Research and development: Over the course of 2017-2019 a pilot study of the ORICL tool was completed across 4 states in Australia with 21 educators each using the tool to observe children aged between 7-33 months.

Findings: The stakeholder co-design panel endorsed the purpose, development and design processes, content, usability, and potential benefit of the ORICL tool. Educators reported the ORICL contributed to:

  • their understanding of children's learning and development
  • their critical reflection on children's learning
  • eductors' programming cycle (documentation, planning, practice)

Find out more about our research and further developments here.

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“I feel like when completing the ORICL, you are really thinking about the child's emotional and social wellbeing and skills and abilities - it prompts you to think about how to support development”.
“One child was dropping his playdough on the floor and I told him not to do it but then I realised he was using his shoe to make a print on the playdough. I thought of the ORICL and realised the child is exploring”.
“It makes you critically reflect for the educator questions - with the educator questions, I looked at it from the perspective of our room and all educators and how we all interact with the children”.

Acknowledgement of Country

Macquarie University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the Macquarie University land, the Wallumattagal clan of the Dharug nation - whose cultures and customs have nurtured, and continue to nurture, the land since Dreamtime.