Element 5.1.2: Dignity and rights of the child

The dignity and rights of every child are maintained.
National Law & Regulations

National Law and National Regulations underpinning Element 5.1.2

Section 166 Offence to use inappropriate discipline

Regulation 155 Interactions with children

What Element 5.1.2 aims to achieve

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a universally agreed set of non-negotiable standards and obligations founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each child, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth status or ability.

By agreeing to undertake the obligations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Australia has committed to protecting and ensuring children’s rights. This includes Article 19 of the convention, which states that children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally.

Assessment guide for meeting Element 5.1.2 (for all services)

Dignity and rights of children


Assessors may observe:

  • spaces, resources and routines arranged to minimise times when children are likely to experience stress or frustration or made to wait unnecessarily
  • children:
    • supported to make choices and to experience the consequences of these where there is no risk of harm to themselves or another person
    • being acknowledged when they make positive choices in managing their own behaviour
School age children
  • having independence and increased autonomy in recognition of their growing maturity and ability to take responsibility for their own behaviour
  • educators:
    • pre-empting potential conflicts or challenging behaviours by monitoring children’s play and supporting interactions
    • using positive language, gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice when redirecting or discussing children’s behaviour with them
    • responding promptly to children’s disruptive behaviour by acknowledging their feelings, spending time with them and suggesting alternative ways of responding
    • being patient, gentle, calm and reassuring even when children strongly express distress, frustration or anger
    • talking to children about the importance of empathy, treating others equally and celebrating differences
    • encouraging each child’s sense of identity
    • supporting children to treat each other with dignity and respect in their interactions
    • using diverse resources to celebrate different cultures and backgrounds
    • modelling and encouraging children to identify and challenge discrimination when they observe inappropriate behaviour, or hear inappropriate comments
    • respectfully considering information received from families, other professionals and resource agencies and responding appropriately to support the rights of children
    • encouraging children to reflect on and consider the impact of their behaviour
    • guiding all children’s behaviour in ways that:
    • are focused on supporting children to develop skills to self-regulate
    • preserve and promote children’s self-esteem and confidence
Birth to three
  • speaking in comforting tones and holding babies to soothe them when they are crying

  • using distraction and redirection techniques when children want the same toy or are distressed
  • responding positively to children’s exploratory behaviour
School age children
  • taking action if bullying occurs, according to the service’s policies and procedures such as anti-bullying, interactions with children or behaviour guidance policies
Family day care
  • responding to their own children’s behaviour and the behaviour of children using the service in a fair and consistent way.


Assessors may discuss:

  • how the service celebrates diversity, including:
    • supporting each child’s sense of identity
    • guiding children’s understanding of cultural diversity
    • how the service communicates its culturally diverse practices with families
  • how the service maintains an environment of cultural inclusion and supports educators’ cultural competence
  • how educators reflect on the equity and rights of each child, in particular how their own practice and behaviour may affect individual children
  • how educators reflect on, identify and minimise the impact of their own biases on their practices and relationships with children and families
Birth to three
  • how the service manages situations such as when children bite, including communication with families

School age children
  • whether services located in schools have regard to the school's approach to guiding behaviour, and how the service and the school cooperate to maintain the rights of children in a recreation and leisure program.

Assessors may sight:


  • documentation that shows that diverse views, including family backgrounds and values, are considered in planning and programming for each child
  • the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child displayed
  • documented reflections on children’s experiences at the service including whether all children’s rights are being upheld.