Exceeding guidance for Standard 5.1: Relationships with children


The following guidance is questions for services to ask of their own practice to consider whether their service Exceeds the NQS in Standard 5.1.

Authorised officers determine the rating of each Standard by considering each theme in relation to each Standard descriptor.
For further information on the three Exceeding themes, including what authorised officers consider when reviewing whether evidence demonstrates a theme, see Exceeding NQS theme guidance.
You can find case studies describing examples of practice for this Standard at https://www.acecqa.gov.au/assessment/exceeding-themes

Questions to guide reflection on practice for Standard 5.1

Exceeding theme 1: Practice is embedded in service operations

  • How do educators, the educational leader, and the co-ordinator demonstrate a deep understanding of the requirements of the Standard, concepts and the component elements, and a commitment to high quality practice at all times?
  • How does each educator’s practice reflect a deep commitment to building and maintaining respectful and equitable relationships with each child?
  • At all times, how are interactions between educators and children across the service:
    • supporting each child to feel secure, confident, and included?
    • maintaining each child’s dignity and rights?
  • How do all educators explain how their relationships with children are guided by an understanding of and commitment to:
    • building trusting relationships which engage and support each child to feel secure, confident and included?
    • respecting the dignity and worth of each child?
    • protecting and ensuring children’s rights?
  • How does the observed and discussed approach to relationships between educators and children:
    • consistently align with the principles and practices of the approved learning framework/s?
    • consistently align with the service’s philosophy, policies and procedures?

Exceeding theme 2: Practice is informed by critical reflection

  • How is the service’s approach to relationships between educators and children:

    • reflective of robust debate, discussion, and opportunities for input by all educators, and informed by critical reflection and past incidents?
    • informed by current recognised guidance?
  • To what extent are any changes to the service’s approach to relationships between educators and children understood by all and implemented appropriately?
  • How are all educators:
    • systematically reflecting on their interactions with children across the service and on opportunities to further enhance children’s lifelong learning and sense of belonging within the service and the child’s world?
    • demonstrating self-awareness and purposeful in the consideration of the theoretical perspectives that influence their pedagogy and the practice across the service?
  • How do the service team reflect together to:
    • consider the social justice and equity implications of educators’ approaches to relationships with children to ensure interactions support the dignity, rights, cultures and best interests of all children, including children who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
    • challenge stereotypes and biases in promoting and maintaining a culture of inclusiveness?
    • engage in robust debate and discussion in which personal, professional and organisational values that influence relationships between educators and children are identified and discussed?

Exceeding theme 3: Practice is shaped by meaningful engagement with families and/or the community

  • How does the service’s approach to building and maintaining respectful and equitable relationships with each child:

    • reflect the unique geographical, cultural and community context of the service?
    • welcome, reflect and draw on the voices, priorities and strengths of the children and families at the service?
    • contribute to a culture of inclusiveness and sense of belonging for children and families at the service?
    • strengthen meaningful relationships with families and the community?
    • seek, value and consider family input to inform ‘Interactions with Children’ policy and practice?
See the ACECQA Educational Leader Resource for information for educational leaders.