These KidsMatter Professional Learning topics focus on the importance of relationships.

Increasingly research highlights how the positive relationships we develop with children supports and enhances their social and emotional development and learning. Children of different ages develop core social and emotional skills through their relationships and everyday experiences with others. By using intentional teaching and capturing spontaneous opportunities, educators can assist children’s social and emotional learning. 

With support, there are many ways educators can develop and integrate their own skills in fostering children’s social and emotional development.

Find information, videos, discussion points and activities to aid this process in the topic resources below.  

Social and emotional learning in early childhood

Topic 1 focuses on the social and emotional learning that takes place in the first five years of a child's life and how this learning impacts on mental health and wellbeing.

  • 1.1 Social and emotional learning and mental health
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    This video looks at the social and emotional skills that develop in early childhood and how these skills relate to the mental health and wellbeing of children.

Relationships that promote children's social and emotional learning

Topic 2 focuses on the importance of a warm, responsive and trusting relationship between educators and children to optimise a child's social and emotional development.

  • 2.1 Relationships as the foundation for children’s social and emotional learning
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    This video looks at how positive relationships with children are the foundation for their social and emotional learning and development.  The video also covers the qualities of the relationship between educators and children that support children’s social and emotional learning.

  • 2.2 Getting to know children
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    It is important that educators know children within their care well.  This video talks about the importance of knowing children within the context of their family and community.  It also covers ways to get to know children well, and how you as an educator, can use this knowledge to support the social and emotional development of children in your care.

  • 2.3 Opportunities for educators to support the development of children’s social
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    This video looks at examples of how educators can support children’s social and emotional development – through intentional teaching as well as by responding to more spontaneous opportunities that might also promote learning and development.

  • 2.4 Relationships in action
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    This video includes footage of an educator’s response to a child’s emotional upset.  This footage was taken from the University of Western Sydney Early Learning Child Care Centre.

Curriculum decisions and social and emotional learning

This topic focuses on how curriculum planning and implementation considerations can have a positive impact on children’s social and emotional learning and development.

  • 3.1 Impact of curriculum decisions on children’s social and emotional learning
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    This video looks at how the Early Years Learning Framework describes curriculum, which is broadly defined within the Framework.  This video also looks at how curriculum decisions as well as policies and practices at the service level, can all have an impact on children’s social and emotional learning.  It highlights that educators have many opportunities throughout the day to support children’s social and emotional learning, and that these opportunities can be incidental or planned.

A community of learners

Topic 4 focuses on the role of professional development and support in early childhood services, so that educators can participate in the kind of warm and positive relationships that support children’s mental health and wellbeing.

  • 4.1 The role of professional development and support
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    This video looks at the importance of professional development and support to enable educators to work effectively with children in their care.  The video identifies a range of possibilities that may be available to educators, including reflective practice and other forms of professional development and support.

  • 4.2 Reflection with intention
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    Find creative ways to engage in professional development and reflection.This video looks at how professional development and support can be part of every early childhood service.  The video also considers how reflective practice is one way to build in professional development and support into educators’ daily routine at their service.