Interacting with children

Interact effectively with children CHCIC301E

This unit is about developing and maintaining effective relationships and promoting positive behaviour in the childcare environment.



1. Communicate positively with children on an ongoing basis

  1. Use a language style that is appropriate for children's age, developmental stage, and culture
  2. Use key words of meaning to a child
  3. Ensure your non-verbal communication is appropriate and relevant
  4. Ensure interactions are frequent, caring and respectful
  5. Use language that is non-gender-specific and non-stereotypical

Positive communication with children needs to vary according to the age of the child. See example.


2. Promote positive behaviour

  1. Communicate to children positive and realistic expectations of their behaviour
  2. Regularly identify and explain to children examples of positive behaviour
  3. Communicate clearly, suggesting positive options to encourage a child's cooperation
  4. Draw child's attention to the positive aspects of their behaviour
  5. Apply limits to behaviour within the policies of your service

See guidelines for age-appropriate behaviour management.


3. Collaborate with children about their interests

  1. Consult children using various kinds of communication
  2. Interact and collaborate with all children in the service on a regular basis
  3. Encourage children to consider new ideas and interests that haven't previously been catered for in the service
  4. Allow enough time for children to express their ideas in various contexts
  5. Positively acknowledge suggestions and act upon them whenever possible


4. Respect similarities and differences and encourage children to respect the differences

  1. Identify and talk about children's likes and dislikes
  2. Talk about differences as resources, not as inferior or a problem
  3. Respond positively and with respect to different communication styles used by children


5. Support children in learning to make decisions.

  1. Help children to share their ideas, discuss limitations, and solve problems
  2. Clearly describe to children the limitations of resources
  3. Discuss safety factors and legal requirements that may limit options
  4. Help children to plan implementation of ideas/ suggestions
  5. Acknowledge suggestions that can't be used and explore alternatives with the children


5. Other skills

  1. Communicate verbally and non-verbally while valuing individuality and differences. This includes noticing children's cues, questioning, informing, listening actively, and discussing
  2. Take into account child's age, activities, development, culture and needs when communicating with children
  3. Set and apply appropriate limits, taking into account the child's age, development, culture and needs
  4. Assess and respond appropriately to challenging behaviours
  5. Involve children in decision-making and planning, giving due regard to their age, development and abilities
  6. Maintain good interpersonal relationships and work well with others
  7. Identify the capabilities of individual children
  8. Treat all parents and children equitably, including Indigenous people
  9. Work with cultural diversity.



Your assessment

You will be assessed in your workplace. Start by taking your assessor on a walk around and show him/her what you do. Your assessor may ask you any questions. During the walkaround, describe in outline your organization's standards, policies and procedures.

Your supervisor will also be asked to give a reference.

Interview/assignment questions

Your assessor may give you these questions as an assignment. If you are assessed through an interview, then you might want to prepare written notes beforehand. However, they should be used only as a guide and you will not pass the assessment just by reading your notes.

  1. When dealing with families who have different cultural backgrounds from you:
    • What will you need to do differently to accommodate them?
    • What will you need to do differently to communicate with them?
  2. Why is modelling so important?
  3. Why is listening so important?
  4. Why must you be consistent in communicating guidelines for children's behaviour?
  5. Why consequences would arise from being inconsistent in children's behaviour guidelines?
  6. How do you develop a child's self-esteem?
  7. Describe the range of children's feelings and reactions to:
    • moving house.
    • birth of a younger sibling.
    • separation of parents.
    • death of a family member.
    • parent marrying or re-marrying.
  8. Write a summary or your organization's standards, policies and procedures for behaviour management.
  9. Write a list of children's age groups and next to each one, write out the main characteristics of appropriate expectations of children's behaviour for that age group.
  10. How do your personal values and background influence your view of acceptable and unacceptable behaviours? What of those values is good and which are inappropriate for childcare?
  11. What kinds of cultural practices and expectations about children's behaviour could you encounter in childcare (e.g. cultural and religious practices, allergies etc.)? How do people in different cultures respond to developments in children's behaviour?
  12. Describe the developmental and emotional reasons for inappropriate behaviour.
  13. Describe three examples of different family practices, expectations and styles of discipline?
  14. What right children do children have in your service?
  15. What strategies can you use to positively guide children's behavior?
  16. Describe a set of behaviours for which you can identify causes (e.g. learned habits, context influences, social influences)
  17. What other factors contributory to inappropriate behaviour? (e.g. recent events, child's history, special needs, actions of others)
  18. Describe the five main behaviour management strategies you have used to respond to difficult behaviour.
  19. What environmental factors can affect a child's behaviour?
  20. Describe the needs of children with a developmental disability. How would you manage their behaviour?
  21. How do children learn good behaviour?
  22. Why should you value children's input and ideas?
  23. Describe briefly your organization's health and safety policies and requirements.