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Spotlight on QA1

Including children’s voices in program and practice

How do I include the child's voice in our Quality Area 1 programming and practice? Do you we include it in our documentary evidence?

Children arrive at early childhood education and care (ECEC) services with experience of living and learning with others in a range of communities. Once they arrive, having a positive sense of identity and experiencing respectful, responsive relationships strengthens children’s interest and skills in being and becoming active contributors to their world.

Because of that, and because children are competent humans who have the inherent right and capability to contribute to decisions that affect their lives, under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, it’s important to make sure that their perspectives, positions and understandings - grouped together using the term “children’s voices” - are demonstrated in the program and practice of the service..sometimes a tall order, but never fear! Our Sprout education experts are here to help, with the following reflective questions designed to guide your thinking about including children’s voices. 

As you walk around your service, look and listen for evidence and answers to the following questions;

  • Are educators encouraged to actively find ways to boost children’s participation in program and practice? 
  • Is children’s participation supported in day to day practice?
  • How easy is it to record children’s ideas and knowledge within our documentation?
  • Is it authentic and worthwhile documentation if children’s knowledge and opinions on the learning is not included?
  • Is simply recording the words and ideas of the children we teach enough to satisfy the planning and documentation that we need to display?
  • When we add photos, we capture the image of a child, we capture what they are doing, and perhaps their expression. Is this enough for authentic, genuinely useful and interesting documentation of learning?
  • How do you support children to translate their voice and views into action?
  • When engaging in conversations with children, how do you support the conversation to unfold? 
  • How do we respond to what children say if our opinions and values differ?

Want a guide of all relevant theorists?

Sprout's free guide of Theorists in Early Education takes you and your team through the most relevant theorists in early education in Australia and how they shape our practice.

Download Guide
A guide to theorists in early education

Need Additional Information?

There are a number of great resources to support services who are at any stage of the ‘children’s voices’ journey. 

This resource encourages educators to think about including children’s voices from an inclusion perspective, while this speech from former National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, asks educators to reflect on using children’s voices from a human rights perspective. 

Be You has some useful ideas about how to listen to children, while this ACECQA newsletter guides educators on how to invite children in. 

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