Element 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.


National Law and National Regulations underpinning Element 5.2.2

Section 166 Offence to use inappropriate discipline

Regulation 155 Interactions with children

Regulation 156 Relationships in groups

What Element 5.2.2 aims to achieve

Self-regulation becomes increasingly important as children move through childhood. They become more mindful of the way others interact with them, and at the same time develop understandings of how their actions affect the way others feel and behave. Educators work with young children to promote and model positive ways to relate to others. This includes role modelling and supporting children to convey and construct messages with purpose and confidence, for example when expressing needs, resolving conflict or responding to the behaviour of others.

Educators actively support the inclusion of all children in play, assist children to recognise when play is unfair, and offer constructive ways to build a caring, fair and inclusive learning community.

See the ACECQA Educational Leader Resource for information for educational leaders.

Assessment guide for meeting Element 5.2.2 (for all services)

Relating positively with others

Assessors may observe:


  • children:
    • engaging in cooperative, helping behaviour
    • exploring different identities, roles and points of view in pretend play
    • challenging unfair acts and discrimination on behalf of themselves and others (Early Years Learning Framework; Framework for School Age Care)
    • expressing their feelings and responses to others’ behaviours confidently and constructively
    • being supported to communicate effectively to resolve disagreements with others
  • educators and co-ordinators:
    • implementing planned and spontaneous discussions about emotions, feelings and issues of inclusion and exclusion, fair and unfair behaviour, bias and prejudice
    • modelling respectful behaviour and providing supportive language to enable children to vocalise their concerns
    • encouraging children to listen to other children’s ideas and points of view, consider alternative behaviours and solve problems together
    • talking with children about the consequences of their actions
    • planning and implementing strategies to support individual children’s behaviour
    • discussing with and supporting children to identify their feelings, and providing a safe place for them to explore and build strategies to calm the body and mind
    • listening empathetically to children when they express their emotions, acknowledging their feelings and reassuring children that it is normal to experience positive and negative emotions at times
    • supporting children to negotiate their rights in relation to the rights of others and intervening sensitively when children experience difficulty in resolving a disagreement

Family day care

  • educators and members of their family modelling positive, socially acceptable behaviour and language.

Assessors may discuss how:


  • educators:
    • learn about and support individual children’s relationships with other children
    • help children to understand that others may not always wish to play with them
    • use their knowledge of individual children’s personalities and friendship preferences to support children to manage their emotions and behaviour and develop an understanding of the feelings and needs of others
    • encourage positive behaviour in children, and support them to understand the expectations for their behaviour and the consequences of inappropriate behaviours
    • support children when they are trying to negotiate and resolve conflicts with others
    • support children to negotiate and share ownership of responsible and respectful behaviours as a group
    • work with families and other professionals to appropriately support each child’s emotional and social learning
  • service staff work with each child’s family and, where applicable, their school, to ensure an inclusive and consistent approach is used to support all children to regulate their behaviour and communicate effectively
  • the nominated supervisors, co-ordinators and educators manage situations in which:
    • families have different views and expectations compared to those of the service about guiding children’s behaviour
    • a child may benefit from more support in managing their behaviour
  • the educational leader supports educators to enhance their skills and knowledge to positively guide children’s behaviour
  • the service positively influences educators’ views and beliefs around children’s behaviour, with a focus on all children being supported when they are distressed

Family day care

  • the nominated supervisors, co-ordinators and educators guide children's and young people's behaviour in ways that have regard to those followed in the school/s children attend, while maintaining the rights of children and young people in a recreation and leisure program
  • children and young people are supported to develop skills to identify and report inappropriate behaviours such as bullying (including cyber bullying) and social exclusion.

Assessors may sight:


  • the service’s policies and procedures on interactions with children and behaviour guidance
  • evidence of:
    • planned and spontaneous experiences that support children to develop and practise the skills required to participate in group discussions and negotiate shared decision-making with their peers
    • collaboration with schools, other professionals or support agencies that work with children who have diagnosed behavioural or social difficulties
  • examples of information gathered from families about their children’s social skills and relationship preferences
  • documented communication with families that shows their views, ideas and preferences have been considered when planning appropriate strategies to support their child’s positive inclusion in the program
  • the service’s policy on interactions with children that outlines a clear process for guiding children’s behaviour, based on current recognised approaches and with a focus on children’s rights
  • individual behaviour guidance plans for children, including evidence of consultation with their families and if appropriate, input and suggestions from other professionals and support agencies.