SRF Program

  • Early Childhood Play Matters

    VEYLDF Alignment

    ​Item uses these practice principles: Reflective practice, partnerships with families, High expectations for every child, Respectful relationships and responsive engagement, Integrated teaching and learning approaches, Partnerships with professionals.

    Item responds to these sub-outcomes: Children become strong in their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.


    ​This workshop is based on the 2015 book Early Childhood Play Matters, by Kathy Walker and Shona Bass. It aims to reinforce the importance of play and intentional teaching, and how play provides essential foundations for life. It also discusses what constitutes best practice in a high-quality early childhood program.

    The workshop aims to equip early childhood educators with evidence and affirmation about the value of play. It focuses on the importance of relationships; developing authentic, culturally appropriate and inclusive practice; enhancing children’s learning through ‘scaffolding’; rich, engaging environments; intentional teaching; and planning for and documenting children’s learning and development effectively.

    Participants explore the theory of play and learn how neuroscience informs understanding about children’s development. They learn innovative ways to ‘add value’ to the teaching of literacy, numeracy, STEM and life skills, and strategies to encourage children to explore learning through investigations linked to intentional teaching in all curricular areas.

    Detailed Costs

    ​Full-day workshop/webinar: $376.20/person (incl. GST and the Early Childhood Play Matters book, normally $52).

    Implementation Considerations

    Target population: early childhood educators.

    Program/practice descriptions and details: Early Childhood Play Matters book also available online.

    Implementation model: full-day program includes a PowerPoint presentation, practical workshop, discussion opportunities and guidance to develop action plans.

    Australian experience: program has been delivered across Australia, including Victoria, since 2015.

    Strength of Evidence

    ​Level 6 – Supported by expert opinion