Regulatory priority 3
Every child has a right to protection from harm and mistreatment physically and mentally. Feeling safe, respected, valued and listened to is critical to the healthy development of confidence and self-worth in children and to better learning outcomes.
It is an offence under section 166 of the National Law for an approved provider, nominated supervisor or family day care educator to fail to ensure that no child attending the service is subjected to any form of corporal punishment or any discipline that is inappropriate in the circumstances.
Approved providers must ensure that education and care at the service supports positive interactions underpinned by inclusive programs, positive guidance and encouragement and support for children to develop self-reliance and confidence (regulation 155 of the National Regulations).
Responsive and meaningful interactions between educators and children that build trusting relationships support children to develop the confidence to explore and learn to their full potential.
Appropriate discipline of children requires positive guidance, encouragement and support to develop the skills to regulate their own behaviour.
Educational leaders and educators should respond promptly to any behavioural concerns and acknowledge children’s positive choices in managing their behaviour.
Approved providers and all staff providing education and care should regularly reflect on their practice, including asking themselves:
- Am I providing a quality program based on the needs, interests and abilities of each child that supports their meaningful engagement in activities?
- Are the play spaces, resources and routines organised in a way that minimises situations where children may become frustrated or stressed?
- Do I support children to express themselves and make decisions?
- Do I support children to develop skills to self-regulate their behaviour and acknowledge their efforts when they do?
- Do I have a deep understanding of child development and age-appropriate positive behaviour guidance strategies?
- Do I take time to reflect on my interactions with the children and adults in the service?
- Do I consistently use positive language, gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice when redirecting or discussing children’s behaviour with them?
- How do I ensure that no children at my service are subjected to corporal punishment or any discipline that is inappropriate in the circumstances?
Approved providers must ensure staff are supported to:
- interact positively and respectfully with children
- provide a quality program that meets each child’s interests and needs
- develop and follow policies and procedures to ensure a child-safe environment.