View Current

Yarm Gwanga Interactions With Children Guideline

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Overview

(1) This Guideline acknowledges the importance of ensuring the highest standards in ethical conduct in accordance with the Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics (2016) and The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1991). This Guideline provides an ethical framework for the decisions, actions and conduct of all staff members including students, volunteers and visitors. While it is recognised that no one set of rules can answer all ethical questions, the principles and expectations covering appropriate conduct in a variety of contexts is outlined.

(2) For the purposes of clause 168 (2)(h) of the Education and Care Services National Regulations this Guideline is considered to be the policy and procedure.

(3) These Guidelines satisfy the following National Quality Standards:

  1. Quality Area 4 Staffing Arrangements
    1. Standard 4.2 Management Educators and staff are collaborative, respectful and ethical.
      1. Element 4.2.2 Professional standards guide practice, interactions and relationships.
  2. Quality Area 5 Relationships with Children
    1. Standard 5.1 Respectful and equitable relationships are maintained with each child
      1. Element 5.1.1 Responsive and meaningful interactions build trusting relationships which engage and support each child to feel secure, confident and included.
      2. Element 5.1.2 The dignity and rights of every child are maintained at all times.
  3. Quality Area 7 Governance and Leadership 
    1. Standard 7.1 Governance
      1. Element 7.1.2 Systems are in place to manage risk and enable effective management and operation of a quality service
Top of Page

Section 2 - Scope

(4) This Guideline is for interactions with children at Yarm Gwanga Services, and applies to all UNE Representatives, children and families, and all visitors to the Yarm Gwanga Services.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Guideline

General Requirements

(5) Yarm Gwanga will ensure:

  1. All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that Yarm Gwanga provides education and care to children in a way that encourages them to express themselves, and develop self-reliance and self-esteem, maintains their dignity and rights, provides positive guidance and encouragement towards acceptable behaviour, and respects their cultural and family values.
  2. All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that the service provides children with opportunities to interact and develop positive relationships with each other, and with the staff and volunteers at the Service.
  3. All children are encouraged to engage in cooperative and pro-social behaviour and express their feelings and responses to others' behaviour confidently and constructively, including challenging the behaviour of other children when it is disrespectful or unfair.

(6) Educators at Yarm Gwanga will:

  1. Support children to explore different identities and points of view and to communicate effectively when resolving disagreements with others.
  2. Discuss emotions, feelings and issues of inclusion and fairness, bias and prejudice and the consequences of their actions and the reasons for this as well as the appropriate rules.
  3. Encourage children to listen to other children's ideas, consider alternate behaviour and cooperate in problem solving situations.
  4. Listen empathetically to children when they express their emotions, reassure them that it is normal to experience positive and negative emotions and guide children to remove themselves from situations where they are experiencing frustration, anger or fear.
  5. Support children to negotiate their rights and rights of others and intervene sensitively when children experience difficulty in resolving a disagreement.
  6. Learn about children's relationships with others and the relationship preferences they have and use this knowledge to support children manage their own behaviour and develop empathy.
  7. Work with each child's family and, where applicable, their school, to ensure that a consistent approach is used to support children with diagnosed behavioural or social difficulties.
  8. Use positive language, gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice when redirecting or discussing children's behaviour with them. They will also remain calm, gentle, patient and reassuring even when children strongly express distress, frustration or anger.
  9. Guide all children's behaviour in ways that are focused on preserving and promoting children's self-esteem as well as supporting children to develop skills to self-regulate their behaviour.
  10. Speak in comforting tones and hold babies to soothe them when they are distressed.
  11. Respond positively to babies' and toddlers' exploratory behaviour.
  12. Be a positive role model at all times.
  13. Encourage children to express themselves and their opinions in a positive manner.
  14. Allow children to undertake experiences that develop self-reliance and self-esteem.
  15. Speak to children in an encouraging and positive manner.
  16. Listen actively to children and offer empathy and support.
  17. Respect the rights of all children.
  18. Give each child positive guidance and encourage appropriate behaviour.
  19. Regard all children equally, and with respect and dignity.
  20. Have regard to the cultural values, age, physical and intellectual development, and abilities of each child at the service.
  21. Provide opportunities for children to interact and develop respectful and positive relationships with each other, and with other staff members and volunteers at the service.
  22. Inform children if physical contact is required for any purpose, and asking them if they are comfortable with this interaction.
  23. Ensure all interactions with children are undertaken in full view of other adults.
  24. Encourage and assist children to undertake activities of a personal nature for themselves e.g. toileting, changing clothes and applying sunscreen (under the direct supervision of staff).
  25. Respect the confidential nature of information gained about each child while participating in the program.

(7) Yarm Gwanga will:

  1. Ensure that the Nominated Supervisor, Educators and all staff members at the service who work with children are aware that it is an offence to subject a child to any form of corporal punishment, or any discipline that is unreasonable or excessive in the circumstances (Section 166 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations).
  2. Gather information from families about their children's social skills and relationship preferences and record this information in the child's file. Our Educators will use this information to engage children in experiences that support children to develop and practice their social and shared decision making skills.
  3. Collaborate with schools and other professionals or support agencies that work with children who have diagnosed behavioural or social difficulties to develop plans for the inclusion of these specific children. These will be kept in the individual child's file.
  4. Ensure that children are being allowed to make choices and experience the consequences of these choices when there is no risk of physical or emotional harm to the child or anyone else.
  5. Ensure that children are being acknowledged when they make positive choices in managing their behaviour.
  6. Implement behaviour strategies to enable educators and co-ordinators encourage positive behaviour in children while minimising negative behaviour. We will also:
    1. have strategies in place to involve children in developing behaviour limits and the consequences of inappropriate behaviour
    2. implement strategies for the nominated supervisor, educators and co-ordinators to manage situations when a child's behaviour is particularly challenging and when families have different expectations from the Service in relation to guiding children's behaviour.
  7. Establish behavioural plans where behaviour strategies have not reached a successful outcome. These plans will:
    1. Be developed in consultation with the nominated supervisor, educators, family and any other professionals or support agencies involved in the child's education and development
    2. Be consistently reflected upon to ensure the wellbeing of all children and educators at the service.
  8. Meet with the family if the wellbeing, health and safety of all children and educators cannot be assured after all possible strategies have been extensively explored. The Nominated Supervisor and Educators will meet with the family to explore alternate options for the education and care of the child.
  9. Support Educators and co-ordinators to enhance their skills and knowledge in relation to guiding children's behaviour.
  10. Contribute to a service environment that is free from discrimination, bullying and harassment.
  11. Ensure Educators and staff use positive and respectful strategies to assist children to manage their own behaviour, and to respond appropriately to conflict and the behaviour of others.
  12. Ensure that an individual behaviour guidance plan are developed for children with diagnosed behavioural difficulties, in consultation with the Nominated Supervisor, Educators, parents/guardians and families, and other professionals and support agencies.
  13. Ensure that procedures are in place for effective daily communication with parents/guardians to share information about children's learning, development, interactions, behaviour and relationships.
  14. Ensure the Nominated Supervisor, Educators, volunteers, students and all staff are aware of the Service's expectations regarding positive, respectful and appropriate behaviour, and acceptable responses and interactions when working with each other, with staff members, volunteers, students, relationships in groups with children and families at the service.
  15. Promote collaborative relationships between children/families and educators, staff and other professionals, to improve the quality of children's education and care experiences.
  16. Inform the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), in writing, within 24 hours of receiving a notifiable complaint (refer to Definitions) (Section 174(4), Regulation 176(2)(b)) and notifying DEECD, in writing, within 24 hours of a serious incident (refer to Definitions) occurring at the service (Section 174(4), Regulation 176).

Education Programs

(8) Yarm Gwanga will:

  1. Develop and implement educational programs, in accordance with an approved learning framework, that are based on the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child, and take into account the individual differences of each child.
  2. Ensure the educational program contributes to the development of children who have a strong sense of wellbeing and identity, and are connected, confident, involved and effective learners and communicators.
  3. Ensure the educational program contributes to the development of children who have a strong sense of wellbeing and identity, and are connected, confident, involved and effective learners and communicators (Regulation 73).
  4. Ensure the program and care for the child has regard to the cultural and family values, age, and the physical and intellectual development and abilities of each child being educated and cared for (Regulation 155).
  5. Ensure education and care provided has clear documentation of the assessment and evaluation of each child's: developmental needs, interests, experiences and program participation and progress against the outcomes of the educational program (Regulation 74).
  6. Support educators/staff to gain appropriate training, knowledge and skills for the implementation of this policy.

Families/Guardians' Responsibilities

(9) Families/Guardians will:

  1. read and comply with the Interactions with Children Guideline;
  2. engage in open communication with educators about their child;
  3. inform educators/staff of events or incidents that may impact on their child's behaviour at the service (eg. moving house, relationship issues, a new sibling);
  4. inform educators/staff of any concerns regarding their child's behaviour or the impact of other children's behaviour; and
  5. work collaboratively with educators/staff and other professionals/support agencies to develop or review individual behaviour guidance plans for their child, where appropriate.

Authority and Compliance

(10) The Guideline Administrator, Director UNE Life, makes these Guidelines.

(11) UNE Representatives must observe these Guidelines in relation to University matters.

(12) These Guidelines operate as and from the Effective Date.

(13) Previous Policies/Procedures/Guidelines relating to Yarm Gwanga Interactions With Children are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Guideline.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Definitions

For the purposes of this Guideline the following definitions apply:

(14) Behaviour guidance: A means of assisting children to self-manage their behaviour. It differs from traditional 'behaviour management' or 'discipline' which generally implies that an adult is 'managing' children's behaviour or using punishment to control children. Behaviour guidance applies to all forms of behaviour, not just behaviours labelled as 'negative'.

(15) Behaviour Guidance Plan: A plan that documents strategies to assist an educator in guiding a child with diagnosed behavioural difficulties to self-manage his/her behaviour. The plan is developed in consultation with the Nominated Supervisor, educators, parents/guardians and families, and other professional support agencies as applicable.

(16) Duty of Care: A common law concept that refers to the responsibilities of organisations to provide people with an adequate level of protection against harm and all reasonable foreseeable risk of injury.

(17) Nominated Supervisor is a person who is a certified supervisor, has been nominated by the approved provider and has consented to that nomination.

(18) Notifiable complaint: A complaint that alleges a breach of the Act or Regulation, or alleges that the health, safety or wellbeing of a child at the service may have been compromised. Any complaint of this nature must be reported by the Approved Provider to the secretary of DEECD within 24 hours of the complaint being made (Section 174(2)(b), Regulation 176(2)(b)). Written notification of complaints must be submitted using the appropriate forms, which can be found on the ACECQA website:

(19) Serious incident: An incident resulting in the death of a child, or an injury, trauma or illness for which the attention of a registered medical practitioner, emergency services or hospital is sought or should have been sought. A serious incident should be documented in an Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Record as soon as possible and within 24 hours of the incident. The Regulatory Authority (DEECD) must be notified within 24 hours of a serious incident occurring at the service (Regulation 176(2) (a)). Records are required to be retained for the periods specified in Regulation 183.

(20) Visitor includes, but is not limited to, students on practical placements, volunteers, community members and persons conducting inspections/audits.

(21) Yarm Gwanga refers to both the Yarm Gwanga Preschool and Early Education Centre as well as Yarm Gwanga Vacation Care.