Behaviour Guidance Policy
To ensure educators promote positive, trusting relationships with children and collaborate to ensure consistent, effective and respectful behaviour guidance strategies are implemented where required.
Employees and volunteers will model positive behaviour at all times and interact with children with warmth and understanding allowing children to feel safe and secure at the service, and to develop strong identities and trusting relationships. They will try to partner with families and share information to promote children’s secure relationships, positive behaviour and optimal learning outcomes. Expectations of children’s behaviour will be appropriate for their development. The Nominated Supervisor will organise training for staff and volunteers in behaviour management strategies where needed.
Positive Behaviour Guidance
Employees and volunteers will promote positive behaviour like co-operation, empathy, respect and emotional maturity. They will for example:
- discuss inclusion and exclusion, fairness and bias, and implementing a curriculum which always recognises, values and reflects the social and cultural diversity of our community
- ensure all children can participate in activities and experiences
- involve children in developing classroom rules, use photos to show rules and display and child’s eye level
- teach children how to play in different ways ie movement play, object play (understanding and solving problems), imaginative play (emotional resilience, creativity and empathy), social play (friendship and belonging, rough and tumble play, celebrations and ritual play), storytelling (my world, myself and where I fit in), creative play (new behaviours and thoughts) role play
- plan a curriculum based mainly on children’s ideas and interests
- promote positive behaviour when setting up environments eg engaging, uncluttered rooms with attractively displayed resources, defined and obstacle free walkways, mirrors to help children focus and provide interest, photos of where resources belong
- ensure activities interest children eg are visual, smelly, have patterns
- include learning about different emotions in the curriculum
- allow children to have uninterrupted play whenever possible rather than interrupting them when they’re actively engaged in an activity eg they educators may reduce unnecessary transitions or introduce progressive morning teas or mealtimes
- provide explicit instruction for routines and learning
- provide a predictable daily schedule with routines, activities, reminders and transitions
- use aids to support children’s comprehension where required eg displays, key word signing, two step instructions or allowing time for a child to process the instruction or information by waiting for several seconds after speaking
- promote children’s agency by allowing them to be as independent as possible, to try things for themselves and experience the consequences in a safe environment
- encourage children to co-operate and help others
- encourage children to express their feelings and responses to others’ behaviour confidently and constructively
- support children to explore different identities and points of view
- support children to negotiate their rights and those of others in a positive, respectful way
- support children to communicate effectively when resolving disagreements
- respectfully guide children’s behaviour when it is disrespectful or unfair
- encourage children to consider alternate behaviour and co-operate to solve problems
- sensitively intervene when children have difficulty resolving a disagreement, and help them remove themselves from situations where they are experiencing frustration, anger or fear
- encourage children to listen to other children’s ideas
- use positive language, gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice when redirecting or discussing children’s behaviour with them, and remain calm, gentle, patient and reassuring even when children strongly express distress, frustration or anger
- use their knowledge of children’s personalities and friendships to help them manage their behaviour and develop empathy
- support children in dealing with their raw emotions eg anger, fear, panic, and be patient when children revert to old behaviour if they are stressed, tired, hungry etc. This includes listening empathetically to children when they express their emotions and reassuring them that it is normal to experience positive and negative emotions
- never force a child to share when they’re engaged with a resource
- understand that children may not be able to interpret or understand some words eg ‘sharing’ may not be understood as taking turns
- speak in comforting, soothing tones to babies and hold them when they are distressed
- encourage babies’ and toddlers’ exploratory behaviour.
- ensure children’s basic needs are met eg hunger or sleep
- use information from families about their children’s social skills and relationship preferences to engage children in experiences that support their social development.
Managing Inappropriate Behaviour
Inappropriate behaviour is often a child’s way of saying they need support. For example they may need support because of:
- insecure attachment to educators or families
- emotional immaturity
- insufficient language skills to express their needs and wishes
- the condition or number of toys, resources and equipment available
- a diagnosed or undiagnosed spectrum disorder.
Inappropriate behaviour can also occur when children are bored at the service ie not engaged in interesting, stimulating activities. The behaviour may continue when children receive a lot of attention for inappropriate behaviour.
Educators will reflect on the potential reasons for the child’s behaviour as outlined in the Behaviour Management Procedure, and develop strategies with the Nominated Supervisor which can be implemented by all educators to ensure consistent responses across the service. They will never isolate, intimidate or use corporal punishment to guide behaviour including any of the following:
- hitting, spanking, shaking, biting, pinching a child
- restricting a child’s movement by binding or tying them, or taping their mouth
- inflicting mental or emotional punishment eg humiliating, shaming or threatening a child
- depriving a child of meals, snacks, rest or necessary toilet use
- excluding a child from outdoor play or other gross motor activities
- excluding a child from daily learning experiences
- confining a child in an enclosed area eg a closet, locked room, box
- demanding excessive physical exercise
- requiring a child eat or have in their mouth soap, food, spices or foreign substances.
Some strategies for dealing with inappropriate behaviour include:
- ignoring negative behaviour and praising positive behaviour (while ensuring the safety of all children)
- ensuring all educators’ body language is consistent with their actions and words
- building strong social bonds using Attachment theory and Circle of Security approaches
- using key words with signing and objects or visuals to help children with communication difficulties
- using minimal steps in directions then allowing several seconds for a child to understand
- using terminology children understand eg ‘my turn’ ‘your turn’ rather than ‘share’
- explaining saying “sorry” does not mean they can repeat the behaviour
- helping children reflect on their actions eg “Tommy, what are you doing?” “I saw you ….” “What were you about to do with …?”
- asking a child a question rather than telling a child to do something eg “What do we have to do so we can have afternoon tea, ” rather than “pack up”
- talking with children about the consequences of their actions, our rules and why we have them eg “We don’t throw sand do we? We need to make sure it doesn’t get in other children’s eyes.”
- offering child two choices eg “you can have the red car on the shelf or you can wait until Darcy has had a turn with the car”
- adjusting the menu and the serving time of certain foods which are high in natural sugar (eg fruit)
- providing sufficient opportunities for exercise including running which can calm anxious or agitated children through the production of certain brain chemicals
- intentionally teaching behaviours like walking inside
- never assuming children know how to do things or how to behave, and reaffirming positive behaviours
- using empathy and putting themselves in the child’s position to try and understand where the behaviour came from (rather than yelling at the result of the behaviour)
- documenting incidences of inappropriate behaviour and when they are occurring and developing a behaviour plan with parents/guardians and any other relevant professionals
- appointing one person as a contact point for parents/guardians (eg Nominated Supervisor).
In cases where a child physically hurts another child, educators will support and comfort the child who has been hurt, teach them to say ‘stop’ to the aggressive child and to get help straight away.
If a child’s aggressive behaviour continues, educators will work with families and if relevant external agencies to develop a written Behaviour Plan for the child. They will continue to implement effective supervision practices, and will ‘shadow’ the child as much as possible.
Educators supported by the Nominated Supervisor will implement the Behaviour Management Procedure to manage children’s inappropriate behaviour.
It is also expected that families will work in partnership with educators to ensure any child with challenging behaviour receives the best possible support to achieve their potential and does not adversely affect the learning environment for other children at the service. To help educators promote positive behaviour, and a safe, supportive learning environment for all children, families will:
- work in partnership with educators where concerns are raised about the behaviour of their child, including implementing strategies educators use at the service in the home environment if requested
- agree to work with educators to minimise risk where the child’s behaviour is a danger to children and educators. This may include seeking support from professionals like paediatricians, speech pathologists or family support services, or reducing the hours of care until the child’s behaviour can be safely managed by educators.
- consent in writing if educators wish to liaise with relevant professionals to support the child’s learning and development or apply for funding to do this where necessary.
If parents/guardians do not comply with these requirements, the Nominated Supervisor may suspend or terminate the child’s enrolment after providing two weeks’ notice. However, the Nominated Supervisor may suspend or terminate a child’s enrolment without notice if he or she believes the child’s behaviour poses an unacceptable risk to the welfare and safety of other children and educators.
Termination or Suspension of Enrolment
Suspension or termination of enrolment will only be considered if families are not willing to work with teachers, or where the safety of other children or adults at the service is or may be compromised. Teachers will implement the strategies outlined in this Policy and Procedure before resorting to termination or suspension of enrolment.
Additional Needs Policy
Bullying and Children Policy
Code of Conduct (Families and Visitors) Policy
Continuity of Education and Care Policy
Privacy and Confidentiality Policy
Relationships with Children Policy
National Quality Standard
5.1.1 Positive educator to child interactions – Responsive and meaningful interactions build trusting relationships which engage and support each child to feel secure, confident and included.
5.1.2 Dignity and rights of the child – The dignity and rights of every child are maintained.
5.2.2 Self-regulation – Each child is supported to regulate their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others and communicate effectively to resolve conflicts.
6.1.3 Families are supported – Current information is available to families about the service and relevant community services and resources to support parenting and family wellbeing.
Education and Care Services National Law
166 Offence to use inappropriate discipline
Education and Care Services National Regulations
155 Interactions with children
168 (2)(h) Education and Care Services must have policies and procedures providing a child safe environment
Early Years Learning Framework
Children feel safe, secure, and supported
Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect
Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation.
Checklist – Behaviour Management
Checklist – Relationships Between Children Exceeding Themes
Checklist – Self-Regulation
Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness – Drop off, Pick Up Record
Procedure – Behaviour Management
Procedure – Biting
Procedure – Child Safe
Procedure – Working with Professionals or Support Services
Relationships – Behaviour Guidance Plan
Relationships – Behaviour Guidance Incident Form
Relationships – Behaviour Guidance Reflection
Relationships – Emotion Faces (Various)
The policy will be reviewed annually by the Approved Provider, Supervisors, Employees, Families and any committee members.