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Within an early childhood community many different relationships are negotiated with and between children, educators and families. The way in which these relationships are established and maintained, and the way in which they remain visible, impacts on how the early childhood community functions as a whole. Relationships directly affect how children form their own identity, whether or not they feel safe and supported, and ultimately, their sense of belonging.


5.1Relationships between educators and childrenRespectful and equitable relationships are maintained with each child.
5.1.1Positive educator to child interactionsResponsive and meaningful interactions build trusting relationships which engage and support each child to feel secure, confident and included.
5.1.2Dignity and rights of the childThe dignity and rights of every child are maintained.
5.2Relationships between childrenEach child is supported to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships.
5.2.1Collaborative learningChildren are supported to collaborate, learn from and help each other.
5.2.2Self-RegulationEach child is supported to regulate their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others and communicate effectively to resolve conflicts.
73Educational program
84Awareness of child protection law
115Premises designed to facilitate supervision
118Educational leader
126Centre-based services- general educator qualifications
145Staff record
155Interactions with children
156Relationships in groups
157Access for parents
168Education and care services must have policies and procedures
170Policies and procedures to be followed


Additional Needs Policy Anti-Bias & Inclusion Policy Celebrations Policy Child Protection Policy Child Safe Environment Policy Children’s Belongings Policy Clothing Policy Dealing with Complaints PolicyEducational Program Policy Family Communication Policy Gender Equity Policy Interactions with Children, Family and Staff Policy Medical Conditions Policy Nappy Change & Toileting Policy Photograph Policy Privacy and Confidentiality Policy


The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (2009) highlights educators’ relationships with children as central to supporting their learning. Principle 1 in the EYLF is about secure, respectful, and reciprocal relationships. Our philosophy guides our interactions and relationships with children. We aim to ensure all educators develop positive relationships with children based on respect and fostering children’s self-esteem and development.


This policy applies to children, families, staff, management,Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor,and visitors (including contractors)of the Service.


All children have a right to feel accepted and respected. This is a principle set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention emphasises the importance of children developing connections to culture and community as a means of fostering a strong sense of personal identity and belonging. Our Service is committed to ensuring all educators and staff are aware of the UNCROC and to educate children on their rights while encouraging children to participate in decisions which affect them within our service.

Our Service is dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect and promotes a child safe environment, maintaining children’s wellbeing. We promote cultural safety for Aboriginal children, cultural safety for children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability. We aim for children to feel safe and secure, and we believe in forming strong attachments and connections with educators, children, and families at the Service. Educators employed at the Service will use teaching techniques and strategiesto establish positive relationships with children and their families, working in conjunction with the National Quality Standard as we build supportive relationships.

By teaching respect for cultural diversity, educators will assist children to:

  • learn about their cultural background and develop a strong sense of self identity
  • learn about and appreciate cultures and traditions other than their own
  • learn to enjoy and respect differences and recognise universal characteristics we all share
  • learn about racial prejudice and understand why it should be challenged


  • promote children’s bodily integrity (respecting their physical space and only using touch when necessary and appropriate)
  • respect each child’s uniqueness, displaying appreciation and respect for children as individuals
  • use a positive and non-threatening tone when interacting with children in all situations
  • ensure mealtimes are relaxed and unhurried
  • sit with children during mealtimes, engaging in respectful conversations
  • role model respect to children in everyday dealings with both adults and children
  • endeavour to be aware of each individual child’s values, culture and feelings, and respond appropriately
  • value diversity and not tolerate any discriminatory practices
  • encourage children to initiate conversations about their experiences at home encouraging them to express their ideas and feelings
  • encourage children to request assistance when taking on new challenges, inspiring children’s independence and confidence
  • regularly reflect on their relationships and interactions with children and how these can be improved to benefit each child.
  • inspire, encourage and accept each child and encourage them to do the same with their peers by actively:
    • fostering each child’s construction of a knowledgeable, confident self-identity
    • fostering each child’s comfortable, empathetic interactions with a diverse range of people
    • fostering each child’s critical thinking about bias, and to question and enquire
    • fostering each child’s ability to stand up for herself/himself and others in the face of bias
  • and converse in sustained conversation about their interests
  • implement a predictable routine for children with interest-based activities and experiences
  • provide a range of planned and spontaneous experiences for children to challenge and maximise learning opportunities
  • use a variety of communication strategies inclusive of verbal and non-verbal cues to support the development of relationships with children
  • support children’s home language when communicating and interacting to build trust and positive relationships
  • respect children and families’ diversity and the development of cultural competency within the Service including LGBTIQA+ and gender diverse young people
  • support children and build secure attachments through a collaborative partnership with families
  • encourage children to work through differences appropriately and with guidance where necessary
  • respect each child’s uniqueness and communicate that respect to the child


Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority. (2021). Policy and Procedure Guidelines- Interactions with Children

Australian Human Rights Commission. Child Safe Organisations. https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/childrens-rights/projects/child-safe-organisations

Australian Government. Department of EducationSkills and Employment. (2009). Belonging, being and

becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia.

Dau, E. (Ed.) (2016). The multi-bias approach in early childhood (2nd Ed.). Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson


Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010. (Amended 2018).

Education and Care Services National Regulations. (2011)

Kearns, K. (2017). The Business of Childcare (4th Ed.). Australia: Cengage learning Australia.

NSW Department of Education. (2021). Implementing the Child Safe Standards: A guide for early childhood education and outside school hours care services.

Revised National Quality Framework. (2017). (Amended 2020).

Stonehouse, A. (2012). Relationships with children:

UN General Assembly. (1989).  Convention on the Rights of the Child. Simplified version available at


Western Australian Education and Care Services National Regulations


MODIFICATIONSregular policy maintenance link to Western Australian Education and Care Services National Regulations added in ‘Sources’minor formatting edits within texthyperlinks checked and repaired as requiredInclusion of commitment of awareness regarding UNCROC
SEPTEMBER 2021inclusion of additional regulations- reflecting ACECQA guidelines to policies and proceduresinclusion of commitment to Child Safe Standards to ensure a child safe culture within the serviceSEPTEMBER 2022
SEPTEMBER 2020minor editing (lower case letters following bullets)sources checked for currencyaddition of page numbersSEPTEMBER 2021
SEPTEMBER 2019Grammar, punctuation and spelling edited. Some sentences reworded/refined. Sources checked for currency and correct URLs. Sources/references corrected, updated, and alphabetised. Related policies alphabetised. Reference/source added (United Nations)SEPTEMBER 2020
SEPTEMBER 2018Added the section displaying related policies on page 1. Minor adjustments made to further support the formation of respectful relationships.    SEPTEMBER 2019
OCTOBER 2017Updated the references to comply with the revised National Quality StandardSEPTEMBER 2018
AUGUST 2017Minor changes made to policySEPTEMBER 2018