Ethical understanding

Promote ethical understanding of children CHCFC520C

This unit is about promoting the development of children's ethical understanding in a childcare setting. Ethical understanding may include areas such as:

  • relations with family and other people
  • relations with animals and pets
  • relationship to the natural environment and the land
  • links to the immediate environment of the service
  • social responsibilities and rights.

This unit becomes increasingly relevant as children develop. For three to five year olds, the focus is practical and concrete, you can discuss examples, and they develop a more local view of community membership. Five to twelve year olds develop an much wider view of community membership, including the global community, and they take more responsibility for themselves. They can take more initiative is social interactions.



1. Help children to consider the consequences of their actions

  1. Prompt children to consider potential impacts as well as consequences that are observable
  2. Consider with children short term and longer term impacts


2. Help children to make decisions about the fairness of their actions

  1. Encourage children to explore a range of responses to a situation
  2. Encourage children to consider a range of reasons underlying their actions


3. Respond to children's questions about issues and principles

  1. Ensure communication about values and moral issues is appropriate to child's family and cultural background
  2. Ensure communication about values is in line with philosophy and guidelines of the service
  3. Discuss with children issues that require a moral/ ethical response
  4. Discuss with children examples of children responding to ethical issues in different ways


4. Help children to develop their role as members of a community

  1. Encourage children to voice their views in a range of forums relevant to an issue
  2. Encourage children to participate in decision-making forums
  3. Develop, select, implement and review practical strategies with children
  4. Develop opportunities for children to contribute to community events
  5. Develop opportunities where children can provide genuine assistance to other


5. Other skills

  1. Give children opportunities to consider their actions and consequences while still recognizing different cultural values and beliefs
  2. Interpersonal skills
  3. Planning and organization
  4. Deal with cross-cultural issues and beliefs
  5. Treat all parents and children equitably, including Indigenous people
  6. Work with cultural diversity.