Quality Area 5: Relationships with children


Quality Area 5 of the National Quality Standard focuses on educators developing responsive, warm, trusting and respectful relationships with children and young people that promote their wellbeing, self-esteem, sense of security and belonging. Relationships of this kind encourage children to explore the environment and engage in play and learning.

All children need a sense of connection with others to support the development of their identity and social and emotional competence. From birth, children begin to explore how the social world works. Exploring and learning to socialise appropriately with others, and to manage feelings, behaviours and responsibilities is a complex process. When educational leaders, co-ordinators and educators take a positive, strengths-based approach to guiding children’s behaviour, they ultimately empower children to regulate and manage their behaviour and emotions and develop the skills needed to interact and negotiate positively, respectfully and effectively with others. 

Relationships with peers take on increasing importance for older children. Supportive relationships with educators enables older children to develop confidence in their ability to express themselves, work through differences, engage in new experiences and take calculated risks.

Standards, elements and concepts

Quality Area 5 has two Standards that focus on relationships between educators and children, and between children and their peers. These Standards are crucial to delivering quality outcomes for children under the National Quality Framework because supportive and respectful relationships enable children to:

  • develop their confidence and a strong and positive sense of identity
  • develop effective communication skills and the ability to express themselves effectively
  • participate in collaborative learning and develop and build meaningful relationships and friendships.
  • regulate and manage their behaviour and emotions and learn to negotiate complex social situations and relationships.
Standard/ElementsConceptDescriptor learningChildren are supported to collaborate, learn from and help each other.
5.2.2Self-regulationEach child is supported to regulate their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others and communicate effectively to resolve conflicts.
QA5 Relationships with children
5.1Relationships between educators and childrenRespectful and equitable relationships are maintained with each child.
5.1.1Positive educator to child interactionsResponsive and meaningful interactions build trusting relationships which engage and support each child to feel secure, confident and included.
5.1.2Dignity and rights of the childThe dignity and rights of every child are maintained.
5.2Relationships between childrenEach child is supported to build and maintain sensitive and responsive relationships.
See the ACECQA Educational Leader Resource for information for educational leaders.