Element 6.2.2: Access and participation

Effective partnerships support children’s access, inclusion and participation in the program.

What Element 6.2.2 aims to achieve

The inclusive practices of educators, and the partnerships they form with each child and their families, have a significant effect on each child’s access, participation and success in learning. Educators’ attitudes, beliefs and values about inclusion are key factors for successful inclusion. Children thrive when families, educators, local schools and the wider community work together in partnership to support their access, inclusion and participation.

Services can support each child’s access, inclusion and participation in the program by learning about their individual context (family circumstances, geographic location, cultural and linguistic experiences) as well as their interests, learning styles, strengths and abilities. The educational leader and educators use this knowledge when making decisions about the physical environment, the curriculum and the day to day routines and transitions. They ensure that there are no barriers to children’s participation in any aspect of the program (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 13; Framework for School Age Care, p. 11).

By developing their professional knowledge and skills, and working in collaborative partnership with children, families and other services within the community, educators find effective ways to ensure that all children have opportunities to experience quality learning. This gives children a sense of personal worth and enhances each child’s access and participation in everyday events, routines and play experiences (Early Years Learning Framework, p. 12–13; Framework for School Age Care, p. 11). Planning and reflecting on practices, programs and policies assists educators to ensure that potential barriers to participation are addressed, each child is participating in the educational program, and services are ‘inclusion-ready’ and welcoming.

Assessment guide for meeting Element 6.2.2 (for all services)

Supporting children’s access, inclusion and participation


Assessors may observe:

  • all children:
    • demonstrating a sense of belonging and comfort in the service environment
    • demonstrating trust and confidence in educators and staff members
    • participating and engaging in play experiences (adapted from Early Years Learning Framework, p. 21; Framework for School Age Care, p. 20).
Centre-based services
  • that educators have adapted aspects of the environment, routines, transitions and staffing arrangements to facilitate the inclusion of all children

Assessors may discuss:

  • how the service:
    • demonstrates its commitment to the participation of all children
    • ensures that the educational leader, co-ordinators and educators access support and/or participate in professional development to build the skills and expertise necessary to support the inclusion of children with specific health, cultural or developmental requirements
    • collaborates with families, other professionals, therapists or specialists from inclusion/support agencies to support all children and encourage their participation
  • how other professionals/therapists are involved in devising programs for individual children, and how shared goals for learning are identified and implemented
  • how plans are developed to support the inclusion of children who require specific health, cultural or developmental support
  • the processes involved in making or taking a referral to or from other services/agencies
  • how the service implements strategies to ensure environments are welcoming to children and families in the community, and enrolment information and procedures are accessible and clear
  • how educators identify potential barriers to inclusion and ensure the environment and routines are adapted appropriately to facilitate the participation of all children
School age children
  • how the service collaborates with their local school to devise complementary support plans for individual children.

Assessors may sight:

  • evidence:
    • that the service seeks to build their capacity to respond to each child’s specific requirements
    • of professional development that supports responsiveness to each child’s specific requirements and inclusive practices
    • that the service’s philosophy, policies and procedures demonstrate a commitment to access, inclusion and participation for every child and their family in the service
    • of meetings and/or communication between the service, families, and other agencies or specialists working with individual children
    • that where required, families are referred and supported to make contact with appropriate support services/agencies
    • that with the family’s consent and when required, information about the child’s experiences and achievements in the service is appropriately shared with other support services/agencies
  • examples of individual support plans for children that are embedded within the daily program and support the inclusion of the child
  • Strategic Inclusion Plans that promote inclusive programs and practices
  • procedures for families or educators to request referrals for children
  • processes for making and accepting referrals from other services/agencies in the local community such as:
    • child protection agencies
    • early childhood intervention services
    • cultural support agencies
    • family support agencies
    • health professionals
  • images, books and resources that reflect children and adults, from a range of backgrounds, cultures and abilities, as active contributors to and participants in the community.