Early childhood guidance program pilot


Child safe environments are everyone's responsibility and the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations provide a critical framework for keeping children safe in early childhood education and care settings.

The Queensland Government is investing $2 million (excluding GST) over 18 months to enhance the skills and capability of early childhood educators in:

  • positive behaviour guidance
  • protective behaviours.

The early childhood guidance program pilot will be made freely available to support all regulated early childhood services in Queensland.

Positive behaviour guidance

Every child has the right to feel safe, respected, valued and listened to. Educators must develop respectful and positive relationships with children in order to help them develop the skills and understandings they need to interact positively with others.

The positive behaviour guidance program is designed to support teachers and educators to provide education and care to children in a way that:

  • encourages children to express themselves and their opinions
  • allows children to undertake experiences that develop self-reliance and self-esteem
  • always maintains the dignity and rights of each child
  • gives each child positive encouragement towards acceptable behaviour
  • has regard for the family and cultural values, age, and physical and intellectual development and abilities of each child
  • ensures children have opportunities to interact and develop respectful and positive relationships with each other and with educators, staff and volunteers.

Positive behaviour guidance will be delivered by Autism Queensland (AQ). AQ is an experienced provider of training to support teachers, educators and systems on autism and neurodivergence as well as children with complex communication, sensory, cognitive and physical needs.

AQ will implement the program through face-to-face and online workshops as well as additional maintenance workshops beyond the initial foundation training.

While AQ is experienced in supporting children with autism and neurodivergence, this training has been designed for wider application to support educators to positively guide behaviour of all children.

Protective behaviours

The protective behaviours program has been developed to assist educators to help children to identify situations that are unsafe or potentially unsafe and develop practical strategies to counter these situations, preserving their physical and emotional safety.

The 2 key themes are:

  • we all have the right to feel safe, all the time
  • nothing is so awful that we can't talk to someone about it.

National Association for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) has been engaged to provide programs and training focused on the prevention of child abuse and neglect. NAPCAN will train and support early childhood educators using their Safer Communities for Children (SCFC) protective behaviours program. The program will equip services with the information, tools and strategies to embed protective behaviour practices which are high quality and consistently prioritised within early learning environments so that all children are safe and supported.


All early childhood services regulated under the National Quality Framework (NQF) or Education and Care Services Act 2013 (ECS Act) can access this free program. This includes:

  • sessional kindergartens
  • family day cares
  • long day cares
  • outside school hours care services.

Program aims

The program will:

  • increase the confidence, knowledge and skills of educators in services to offer positive behaviour guidance and protective behaviours for all children
  • enhance the skills and capabilities of early childhood educators, providing necessary resources and support
  • support educators and services to meet their obligations under the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

Available support

Eligible services can access the following support.

Universal support:

  • Workshops and webinars
  • Access to common tools and resources

Targeted support:

  • On demand individual educator support via phone calls, emails and online

Organisations and contacts

The 2 specialist services will provide support in positive behaviour guidance and protective behaviours.

Early childhood services are encouraged to contact these organisations directly either by phone or email to gain access to these programs.

Positive behaviour guidance

Autism Queensland
Phone: (07) 3540 8610

Protective behaviours

Phone: (02) 8073 3300

Last updated 07 June 2024