High quality early childhood programs that actively engage young children in quality learning contexts are significant in nurturing the young childrens holistic development and establishing strong foundations for their continuing success as lifelong learners. This unit critically examines the principles and perspectives underpinning contemporary early childhood curriculum and uses this framework to explore the integrative nature of its key components. Pedagogy that promotes children as capable learners and actively engages them in play and other worthwhile contexts for learning is critically considered from multiple perspectives. Contemporary early childhood learning theories and evidence-based practices are examined within the broader political, social and cultural contexts of teaching in the early years of schooling. Educators are challenged to search for and to create knowledge that may inform and direct curriculum decision-making and approaches to pedagogy that actively engage young students in worthwhile learning experiences that promote each students continuing development as a lifelong learner.