Element 3.2.2: Resources support play-based learning

Resources, materials and equipment allow for multiple uses, are sufficient in number, and enable every child to engage in play-based learning.
National Law & Regulations

National Law and National Regulations underpinning Element 3.2.2

Regulation 105 Furniture, materials and equipment

What Element 3.2.2 aims to achieve

Services should design learning environments with resources that support play-based learning and encourage children to explore, solve problems, create and construct (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 15; Framework for School Age Care, p. 14). Educators can provide additional interest, variety and challenge for children by choosing equipment and materials that can be used in multiple ways, and allowing the environment to be regularly and readily rearranged or adjusted. When children are challenged in play and leisure, they explore new possibilities and develop the confidence to take responsibility for their own learning.

Services should provide sufficient resources, materials and equipment for children to engage with and use for play. Resources and materials need to be accessible to children, and reflect the breadth of ages, interests and capabilities of children who are sharing the environment (Framework for School Age Care, p. 15). These resources encourage children’s knowledge of, and connections with, the built and natural environments.

School age care settings provide children with play and leisure activities in which they experience fun, enjoyment, mastery and success (Framework for School Age Care, p. 32). Services should consider how they offer appropriate levels of challenge to encourage school age children to explore, experiment and take appropriate risks (Framework for School Age Care, p. 34), as they learn to regulate themselves and contribute to the social environment (Framework for School Age Care, p. 32).

Assessment guide for meeting Element 3.2.2 (for all services)

Sufficient resources to support play-based learning


Assessors may observe:

  • resources, materials and equipment in the indoor and outdoor environment that children can explore and use freely in their play, which:
    • are sufficient in variety and number to:
  • meet the range of interests, ages and abilities of children
  • avoid overcrowding and ensure that children do not have to wait for long periods to participate or access resources or facilities
  • minimise disputes over their use
  • use in a range of different ways
  • support the participation of all children
    • are organised in ways that ensure appropriate and effective implementation of the program
    • offer a range of challenges and experiences that reflect the breadth of ages, interests and capabilities of children who are sharing the environment
    • are flexible and can be rearranged or adjusted to provide additional interest, variety and challenge
    • are suitable for promoting play and leisure-based learning
    • stimulate children’s curiosity
    • provide many sensory experiences
    • encourage children to explore, discover and experiment
    • are challenging and encourage children to take appropriate risks
  • children:
    • being supported to take on challenges and try new activities/experiences
    • using a range of equipment and resources to engage in physical experiences that assist them to develop movement, coordination, balance, flexibility and strength
    • using a range of commercial, natural, recycled and homemade materials to support their learning in a range of ways—for example, to:
      • express meaning using visual arts, dance, drama and music
      • explore literacy in a range of ways
      • explore numeracy concepts such as sorting, categorising, ordering and comparing collections of materials
      • represent their thinking
      • experiment with different technologies
      • use their imagination and make up their own games
      • be involved in completing day-to-day tasks, such as preparing and cooking food, caring for living things and being involved in the care of the environment
    • exploring, solving problems, creating, constructing and engaging in critical thinking in the learning environment
    • being supported to handle equipment and manage tools with increasing competence and skill
  • educators:
    • enhancing child-initiated experiences by providing additional resources and, where appropriate, participating in and extending children’s play
    • choosing resources, materials and equipment with children and using them in a way that supports children’s sense of belonging, relationships, creativity and learning
    • providing sufficient time and resources for children to initiate and become actively involved in experiences
    • introducing appropriate tools, technologies and media to enhance children’s learning
    • demonstrating the potential of resources to children and suggesting new and different ways to use them
    • being creative in their use of equipment and materials to stimulate children’s interest and curiosity
    • providing resources to support active learning and open-ended imaginative play
    • structuring the environment so that it is flexible to allow children to move resources and equipment to extend learning opportunities
    • using outdoor environments not only as places for children to release energy and engage in physical activity but also for exploration, problem solving and creative expression.

Assessors may discuss:

  • the strategies used to engage with families and children to ensure their views are considered and incorporated in the selection and organisation of materials, equipment and resources at the service
  • how resources and materials in the educational program reflect children and adults with a range of abilities as active participants in the community
  • strategies used by educators to accommodate children’s changing interests, capabilities and skill levels
  • how children are given opportunities to be involved in purchasing resources, including choice and use, so that their preferences support group and individual play-based learning.

Assessors may sight:

  • documentation and learning programs that demonstrate links between the arrangement and choice of resources, materials and equipment and learning outcomes for children
  • plans for the arrangement of indoor and outdoor spaces to create inviting learning environments and documentation of how children’s ideas have influenced these plans
  • photographs of children using materials and equipment in a variety of ways.