Element 1.1.3: Program learning opportunities

All aspects of the program, including routines, are organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning.

What Element 1.1.3 aims to achieve

All aspects of the educational program, including interactions, experiences, routines and events (both planned and unplanned) provide opportunities for children’s learning and development (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 9; Framework for School Age Care, 6), and for educators to interact with children in meaningful ways that empower children’s choices and decision-making.

Educators adopt a holistic approach to planning and facilitating learning throughout the program, including during transitions and routines. Educators are alert to learning opportunities to extend children’s learning during planned and unplanned experiences. They support children to follow their interests and to engage in uninterrupted play.

Effective routines and transitions are designed to support children and are regarded as equally important as planned or spontaneous play experiences or group times. Routines, such as mealtimes or toileting, provide predictability to assist children to feel safe, secure and confident to explore and learn. Effective transitions reduce stress and support children’s sense of belonging.

Assessment guide for meeting Element 1.1.3 (for all services)

Program learning opportunities


Assessors may observe:

  • children:
    • participating collaboratively in events and experiences and having opportunities to contribute to decisions
    • having opportunities to revisit and discuss their learning during routines
    • being given choices during routines and transition times
    • directing and initiating learning experiences
    • engaged in a range of play experiences throughout the day
    • having opportunities to extend their interests, experiences and activities, such as being able to continue working on a construction or artwork
School age children
  • developing autonomy by taking increasing responsibility for self-help and basic health routines
  • supporting younger children to organise equipment, participate in learning experiences and understand behaviour expectations of the service
  • educators:
    • using all aspects of the program to undertake intentional teaching and support child directed learning
    • making decisions based on best learning outcomes for children rather than convenient options suited to educators
    • planning and implementing transitions and routines that support individual children’s preferences and requirements
    • minimising the times during which children are expected to do the same thing at the same time, or to wait for long periods without engaging in play or interactions
Birth to three
  • using routines and play experiences to interact with children to build attachments
  • initiating one-to-one interactions with children during routine activities to ensure these provide opportunities for positive interactions and learning
School age children
  • collaborating with children about routines and procedures
  • encouraging children to guide younger children during routines


Family day care
  • incorporating learning experiences into everyday activities that occur in the residence, such as meal preparation and packing up.

Assessors may discuss:

  • how the service organises its program and routines to maximise opportunities for children’s learning
  • how children are involved in program decision-making, contributing to the learning environment, assisting in everyday routines and transitions including menu planning and food preparation
School age children
  • strategies used by the service to encourage children to take a leading role in designing the program and organising the routines.

Assessors may sight:

  • policy documentation outlining routines and the written program, including examples of how educators plan programs that are maximising opportunities for learning.