We provide expertise and support to parents, educators and organisations to create optimal parenting, learning and educational environments for children birth to 12 years. The not-for-profit organisation prides itself on our knowledge and expertise, and on maintaining an independent voice on the national and international stage for children’s development, teaching and learning, research and parenting.
To provide evidence based knowledge, strategies and support for educators, parents and carers of children birth to 12 years of age. Our professional learning and parent sessions reflect our philosophy and mission to create a child-focused world – a world which is committed to providing an environment that gives every child the opportunity to flourish and to develop life skills that will set them up for success in the modern world.
Kathy Walker founded Early Life Foundations in 2008 and was the originator and designer of the Walker Learning pedagogy now known as WALKER LEARNING. Kathy was regarded nationally and internationally as a leading curriculum, teaching and learning expert in personalised learning and play-based learning. Her expertise in these areas spanned over 30 years. In 2008, Kathy was awarded a Fellowship from the Australian Council for Educational Leaders for her extensive contributions to the improvement of student outcomes as a teacher, lecturer and consultant. Kathy has also been nominated for Australian of the Year and was awarded an OAM in 2014 for her extensive work with educators and families. Kathy retired in 2018.
We are here with a range of skills and backgrounds to support parents and educators. The Early Life Foundations team include experienced professionals and consultants with particular expertise in early childhood development, parenting and education. Founded by Kathy Walker (OAM) in 2008, the consultancy has developed a reputation over the past 10 years as Australia’s leading professional development organisation, providing high quality support and guidance to organisations, schools and families across Australia and internationally.
Our team‘s wealth of knowledge and experience is the key factor in being able to offer such a broad scope of professional development and information sessions. If you are looking for a customised session for your school or centre or an information session for a key parent event, get in touch and see what support we can offer.
Early Life Foundations and Walker Learning have developed close affiliations with our academic guest presenters and proudly bring you events from these leaders in the fields of child psychology, child development and education.
The Study Tour of Walker Learning at Anula Primary School was a interactive and engaging method of professional development. It was wonderful to see more than one teacher implementing the elements of Walker Learning in their classrooms.
We are Walker Learning because our children come first. Children deserve teachers who understand the link between theory, research and pedagogy. This is what I took away from the most inspiring PD I've done in my 15 years of teaching. Thank you Walker learning team, Anula and Janelle for providing us with the knowledge and tools to implement play based pedagogy.
It was very beneficial to be able to walk through the various classrooms and talk to the teachers about their classroom set up and the types of materials used at the different investigation areas before the students arrived, and then be able to observe a teacher in active practise with the Walker Learning Pedagogy from start to finish...this was extremely valuable! It was good to be able to debrief afterwards and to be able to ask questions about Walker Learning with our Mentor.
I would encourage every passionate teacher to use this pedagogy in their teaching. Absolutely brilliant! The most productive and worthwhile PD I have ever been to.
The two day course was excellent and has really impacted on my planning and preparation. it would be great to have some one on one time at the end to help each person plan their goals and strategies as this is the important part and guidance could be valuable.
Supporting Children with Additonal needs I must say thank you to all the speakers for an amazing day! Feeling fully informed & inspired now. The entire day was one of the best I’ve ever spent doing PD. All the sessions were inspiring, informative and the method of delivery was so easy to receive.
Hi, I really enjoyed the workshop and it has given me the confidence that my evaluation of the program that I am co teacher in (as the minor hours) is sound. This has given me some ideas to implement to improve the children's interactions with play areas, each other and more time for staff to give their attention to the children.
Thank you for this amazing opportunity. To be able to stay at the one school to see Walker Learning in action across the day was invaluable. A big thank you to the Frederick Irwin team for your generosity.
I found this PD invaluable. I was fortunate enough to attend this PD with my teaching team and we had so many valuable conversations during and after the day. I came away feeling very empowered to change my teaching practice and fight against the 'academic' pressure that is pushed onto us and our students in Kindergarten. Sally was wonderful in her presentation and Melinda was also fantastic with the insight she was able to provide. Thank you.
Thank you so much for the session. It was great to have someone actually tell us what we need to do in terms of documentation. There is so much confusion about the requirements that we try to do EVERYTHING hoping that we get it right. I would recommend this PD to anyone wanting to clarify their procedures in documenting children's learning.
Hi Nicole, just wanted to give you some feedback on our session today - it was fantastic!! The staff came away from the session inspired and enthusiastic as Melinda was able to answer their questions and put to rest some of their concerns regarding documentation and Assessment and Rating visits. Many of the staff had been to a previous session about two years ago and found it very helpful to refresh their knowledge and also to reinforce what they are doing on the floor. Thank you again, Kind regards Diane Murphy
A very informative two days which reaffirmed/confirmed my notion of Walker learning pedagogy, also good to see the links to ERPs which we are intending to use in our Year 3-6 classes. Great to see the ideas in practice at the two schools we visited and take photos etc. Good for the three staff members from our school to attend together to discuss etc.
I had a great time on the tour and was very much inspired by Walker Learning. I gained valuable ideas and strategies which I can't wait to begin implementing in my classroom.
This was a great course, lots of opportunity share ideas with only 10 participants. having been out of the mainstream environment for 15 years and working in early intervention, this was a great course to remind me of some of the things that I use to do but also to gain an understanding of some of the changes that have occurred over this time. it also assisted to clear up some of those urban myths in regards to documenting (what it needs to look like) and what must be on a planning document.
Fantastic to see it in action gave a greater depth of understanding. Really enjoyed watching actual classroom teachers do the tuning in and reflection aspects of the approach. Would be nice to have received some recognition/certificate of attendance at these sessions. Well worth the trip from WA to Victoria.
I found the day to be informative, interesting and valuable. I found the presenters to be friendly , professional, practical, and really knew what a classroom situation was like. They we're able to relay practical information for use in the kindergarten educational setting. Katie and I have implemented strategies in our class room and presented to the early years what we learnt on the day. I really enjoyed the presentation and would like to learn more.
ELF..Fabulous..........inspired once again...re-educated...refreshed...reassured...and renewed once again... thanks to Walker Learning.A wonderful professional development day... Melinda...you rock!!
This PD was fabulous! It confirmed to me that we were on the right path in thinking in developmental terms rather that thinking in terms of the framework in regards to children's learning and development. I have discussed this briefly with staff at our centre but will do so in more detail at our first staff meeting next term. We had our 'Assessment Visit' so all of our energy was being put towards finalising everything in preparation. It just makes more sense to me and identifies areas individual children need to work on and perhaps be referred for specialist help.
I learnt so much from the PD that I took back and discussed at length with my fellow educators and management. I always enjoy doing PDs at Early Life Foundations I always come away with so much knowledge and so many things I can put into practice.
This PD was one of the most valuable to understand Education Research Projects, especially how to utilise students interest. It provided clarity to both the teacher and student roles within this aspect of the Walker pedagogy. I appreciated the way Shona really targeted each individual teachers needs for the lesson and allowed us to have discussions throughout the day about our practice, how we could implement these aspects into the classroom and school and where to next in our own school's learning journey. Thank you again for the session. Brilliant!
Brilliant as ever. My 2 light bulb moments - Firstly I realised the literacy and numeracy areas are resource areas rather than sit down and work areas so will be resetting them Monday. Secondly I am making several adjustments to the way I use your planning format - I had wandered off the path just a little bit!!
I found the revision of the value of play helpful as a resource for parents. I particularly enjoyed the practical elements of the PD as often we know the theory but it is helpful to have practical ways to implement the theory. I also gain lots of ideas and information to support the staff at my centre. Thank you.
I definitely gained some new ways of thinking about how to use materials. Also, the value of Combining different types of media and using the correct paper. I also learned about some glue/ adhesive products I was previously unaware of. Overall an enjoyable and interesting day.
What a fabulous day!! Our observation was excellent, all of the teachers were very welcoming and happy to answer any questions we had. The session out of the classroom was presented to us in a great open discussion manner giving ample opportunity to ask questions. Overall the day left me feeling very inspired and with a place to begin as to not overwhelm myself. Thank you!
This PD related immensely to challenges that I am dealing with especially in relation to children's diverse behaviours and why these behaviours might be occurring. The content covered so many areas! I feel that I left the PD more knowledgeable and motivated to put what I learnt into action in my everyday practices.
Thank you for your honesty and sharing some very valuable thought provoking information with us. There were some catch phrases you used (such as 'get rid of the fluff') and some metaphors (such as the 'doctor's clinical notes') that I will definitely keep in mind and critically reflect on with my wonderful preschool team in relation to our current practices and 'Get our Lives Back'.
Thank you very much for the useful session. I enjoyed exploring Walker Learning and believe that this will be helpful for my future practice. You guys are amazing!
I was really impressed with the whole day, from the welcome to the environment set up for ideas and the whole presentation. The group size was good and everyone felt relaxed and happy to share their ideas and join in the discussion. Had a great day. Came away inspired and more understanding about how to be mindful and incorporate on a day to day basis in the class.