Early Years Assessment for Learning Tool

Project Director

Jayne Johnston

Project Details

Melbourne Assessment, in partnership with the Research in Effective Education in Early Childhood Centre (REEaCh), has worked with the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training to develop and validate an evidence-based tool designed to support all children in funded 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten programs to have the best start in life. The Early Years Assessment and Learning Tool (the Tool) has been developed to better understand children’s learning and support their progress on developmental progressions.

The observation-based Tool is strengths-based, skill-referenced and not a test.  It draws teachers' attention to the next steps in a child’s learning and supports them to be more intentional and goal-directed in their teaching practices.

The development of the Tool took place over three phases. The first was a testing phase designed to adapt the current Early ABLES suite so that it is valid for use by educators with typically developing children aged two to six years. Experienced early childhood teachers and leaders were engaged in this phase.

The second phase piloted the use of the adapted Tool in kindergarten services to determine how easy the Tool is for educators to use, what professional learning and support is required, and the Tool's impact on teaching practices.

The third phase was the consolidation phase to respond to pilot outcomes and complete the work to finalise the Tool in preparation for its broader use in 2023.

The Early Years Assessment and Learning Tool has been rolled-out in a phased way, with more than 600 services gaining access in the first tranche from Term 1 2023. This has been coupled with implementation support to enable best practice in observation and assessment of children’s learning and kindergarten program planning.

The project commenced in June 2020 and is ongoing.

For more information about the Tool and the rollout, please visit the Victorian department’s website.

Project Directors

  • Professor Tricia Eadie
  • Jayne Johnston


  • Associate Professor Jane Page (Project Lead, Early Years Learning)
  • Dr Toshiko Kamei (Project Lead, Assessment)
  • Dr Cuc Nguyen
  • Hilary Slater
  • Nafisa Awwal
  • Melissa Bao
  • Georgina Aston
  • Dr Rebekah Luo
  • Dr Lan Anh Nguyen


This project is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training.