Learners must complete four Compulsory Units and select one from three elective units.
Table 1: Compulsory and Elective Units
|UNIT 1: Practical Component
(15 – 20 Hours)
|UNIT 2: Safe Environments for Children
|UNIT 3: Benefits of Play
|UNIT 4: Child Development and Behaviour
||UNIT 5: Nutrition and Health
(15 – 20 Hours)
|UNIT 6: Communicating with Children
|UNIT 7: Families and Role Models for Children
UNIT 1 – PRACTICAL COMPONENT
Learners will observe children in the child care environment, communicate their observations in prescribed formats and participate in discussions regarding their observations. Observations may relate to the team environment and how carers work together with a group of children, effective activities for fun and learning, planning activities, aspects of safety, and basic characteristics of developmental stages, nutrition, health and hygiene.
The practical component will include experience in a child care environment, preferably through involvement in the community but may be delivered through family and other child related contexts.
Examples of a practical learning environments include, but are not limited to:
- school/college based play group
- community based groups
- neighbourhood house and community centre
- child care centres
- children’s service providers
- Young Mothers programs
- working with Early Learning Programs
- working in Kindergartens
- mentoring programs
- Playgroup Association and community based children’s activities
- family and child related situations.
Learners will develop skills over the duration of the course and will assist in creating and implementing activities in a child care environment under supervision.
- interact positively with children, care providers, parents (in some contexts), and other stakeholders
- make observations relating to safe and appropriate activities and environments
- observe ethical issues (e.g. confidentiality, taking photos of children, behaviour guidance) in planning activities for children
- work cooperatively with others
- assist in the development of, and participate in, prescribed activities that are safe and age-appropriate for children.
UNIT 2 – SAFE AND AGE-APPROPRIATE ENVIRONMENTS AND RESOURCES
Learners will explore the characteristics of safe environments and resources with a focus on the practical implementation of ideas, identifying safe activities, environments and resources and modifying existing environments and resources to improve safety.
Learners will explore the following questions:
- What designates a safe environment?
- What are age-appropriate activities and resources?
- What is ‘off limits’ for children? Why?
- What is safe and appropriate play?
- What are safe furnishings and materials, both in the home and outside?
- How can environments be adjusted, including to suit older children’s requirements according to age and development?
- How are routines and transition times effective?
- What are features of a child-safe home environment?
- What are some items of child-safe nursery equipment?
- How can unsafe features be addressed?
- What is SIDS?
- What is Duty of Care to self, children and others?
- Is immunisation important?
- Why is hygiene important? What are basic personal hygiene practices in the home and in child care environments?
- What are basic First Aid procedures, for example, for:
- cuts, abrasions, stings, falls, poisoning?
- the sick child?
UNIT 3 – BENEFITS OF PLAY
Learners explore the benefits of play by exploring types of play, developmental play and the structure of play. They will also assist in the planning, setting up and implementing of specific play-based activities and observe play in the child care environment.
Learners will explore the following:
- the benefits and value of play – how does play contribute to children’s development?
- types of play (Creative, Imaginative, Manipulative, Experimental, Social, Discovery, Physical)
- play and activities appropriate to developmental stage
- structured and free play
- play in other environments: external locations; children’s parties; public places. How do children benefit from other play contexts?
Suitable play-based activities include:
- dramatic play: costumes; jewellery; doll play; box props for activities (e.g. fire engine, post office, hairdresser)
- blocks and building: using containers to make blocks (milk cartons, cardboard boxes, foam rubber, match boxes); using blocks to teach maths, problem solving, etc...
- toys: demonstrate how toys develop fine/gross motor skills; using household objects such as pots, pans, wooden spoons, pegs; making games; buying second hand toys
- art using creative materials: felt, glitter, feathers, shells, clay, play dough, finger paint, soap, crayons
- books: reading, sharing, pictures, words, questions; recommended reading; libraries; making books; baby handling books; poetry and rhymes; feelings; different races and lands
- sand and water: outside play; toys; making sand pits; art projects
- cooking: cooking with children; making picture recipe cards; sharing recipes; making recipe books; sharing nutrition information
- play: organising environments; making equipment; changing equipment; walks; field trips; creating a garden (focus on sustainability)
- music: sharing music times with children, listening together; exercise to music; music for dramatic play; musical instruments and making instruments; making songbooks;recording music; library or music store sessions
- dance: exercise to music; listening to music/sound and expressing movement that reflects sound; dance to develop fine/gross motor skills; simple sequenced steps and actions to music; creating dance; dancing together as a cooperative activity
- home-made resources – play dough, bubble mixture, etc...
UNIT 4 – CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND BEHAVIOUR
Concepts and theories of child development form the basis of learners’ interactions with children.
The learner is introduced to the developmental and maturation stages of children’s growth. This knowledge underpins how children grow and learn.
These concepts also form the foundation for practical observations in a child care environment. Personal experiences, discussion and observation of children at home or in a child care environment, and understanding of these observations, contribute to the practical method of delivery.
Key areas of child development include:
- ages and stages of development
- an overview of factors influencing physical growth and motor development
- cognitive development
- the development of sensory capabilities
- social development: the importance of attachment, socialisation and communication
- language development
- development of autonomy and independence
- the impact of family and environment as well cultural, social and economic factors on child development.
Children’s behaviour is a form of purposeful communication influenced by a range of factors such as life experiences, developmental stage and social, cultural and religious contexts of the home background. Behaviour may also be influenced by temperament and environmental factors.
In the child care environment there are significant factors that influence behaviour guidance. Children are encouraged to express their needs positively, respect the rights and safety of others, develop problem solving skills, learn to interact positively with individuals and groups and recognise the consequences of their choices. In this unit the learner observes behaviours (positive and negative) and management strategies of these in the child care environment.
- observe children at play and interacting with others, including carers, parents, children and others in that environment
- explore early childhood theories in relation to behaviour guidance – why do children behave the way they do?
- identify and respond to types of positive and negative behaviour in children in the child care environment and other environments such as the home or playground
- identify and record behaviour guidance strategies. Are they all appropriate and relevant?
- record observations – this may be a diary, written or oral reflection
- follow directions to apply sensitive and appropriate engagement strategies with children including an awareness of legal implications (e.g. taking photographs of children).
Learners must complete one of the following electives Units 5–7.
Learners will be required to demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills they have developed in the compulsory units. They will be required to record their research and observations in a practical environment which may be in the form of templates, diary or reflection documents collated into a workbook.
Learners will be observed in the child care environment holding conversation with stakeholders, working cooperatively, and in the practical preparation of children’s environments.
Elective units require learners to document observations and investigations. Responses may be multi-modal.
UNIT 5 – COMMUNICATING WITH CHILDREN
Learners explore the communication with and between children supported by practical observations in the child care environment, home or other environments. The learner may create or compile appropriate resources about communicating with children.
Key areas of study will include:
- identifying ways of communicating: language, body language, voice, facial expression, action, interaction with others; identifying examples of each; observations may be supported by researched information
- art, music, dance and movement as forms of communication
- the developmental stages of social and language skills
- how babies communicate
- how destructive or negative behaviour is expressed or communicated by the child
- types of activities/games that improve children’s communication skills
- identifying and listing types of activities used in the child care environment– how do these engage children and improve communication skills?
UNIT 6 – NUTRITION AND HEALTH
This unit explores child health, nutrition and hygiene that is fundamental to the well-being of children.
Learners will develop an understanding of how to promote good nutrition, health and hygiene in young children in a range of environments including child care environments and the home. Learners will apply this knowledge in the child care environment during their practical experience, following principles and guidelines set by the provider/supervisor.
The learner may create or compile appropriate resources that communicate good nutrition, health and hygiene.
Learners will explore the following:
- nutrition and food choices for children. What features make food nutritious for children? What foods are healthy/unhealthy choices for children? Why are they considered healthy/unhealthy?
- how nutrition, health and hygiene is best communicated to children
- prenatal health
- breast and bottle feeding
- weaning and first foods
- feeding toddlers and young children
- school lunches
- cooking with children / cooking for children;
- dental hygiene.
UNIT 7 – FAMILIES AND ROLE MODELS FOR CHILDREN
Learners will explore the influence of family and the value of role models in children’s development. Social, cultural, religious and economic factors will also be investigated as key influences on the identification of role models. This unit may be related to specific examples from the child care environment in which the learner undertakes the Practical Component.
The learner may create or compile appropriate resources that communicate positive role models.
Learners will explore the following:
- define a role model. What is the importance of role models in a child’s development? Are there both positive and negative role models?
- influence of family background: social, cultural, religious, economic. How do these factors influence the choice of role models?
- How do children engage in role play – what is the influence of the role model?
- How are role models identified? Are the media, film, television and music a positive or negative influence?
- relationships to social/emotional/cognitive/language development. Discuss examples. (e.g. sports: social skills with team members; sense of achievement and belonging; communication skills; problem solving skills; domain specific language)
- Are there any topical and contemporary examples of positive and negative role models?