Playcentre Aotearoa’s Positive Guidance Procedure

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, 43

Licensing Criteria for Centre-based Education and Care Services 2008:

C10: The service curriculum supports children’s developing social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour.


Tamariki are learning and developing their social and emotional competence, particularly in the pre-school years. We take a growth approach of supporting tamariki with their development and do not punish them for their behaviours.

When considering individual children’s learning, development and behaviour we:

  1. Work with the child’s parents/whānau Whānau must be included in any decision making regarding learning and behavioural needs.
  2. Act within the Playcentre Aotearoa Privacy and Information Policy and the Privacy Act 1993. We do not discuss a child as a group without consulting whānau first.
  3. Consider the Rights of the Child to:
    1. Be treated with respect and dignity.
    2. Be safe, both physically and emotionally.
    3. Work/play without disruption.
    4. Have their work protected and treated with respect.
    5. Be heard/listened.
    6. Be helped to solve their own problems (and supported until they do).
    7. Be positively encouraged.
  4. Recognise the individual learning and development (i.e. Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Social, Cultural, and Language developmental needs) of every child should be met during each session.
  5. Ensure adults working with children do not label or judge.
  6. Refer to our Child Protection policy and procedures in instances of concern about neglect or abuse that will require sensitive and deliberate action.

 All adults (where practical) attending the session are responsible for implementing individual learning goals for all tamariki.


The overall environment at Playcentre will encourage and support children in developing social and emotional competence.

  1. Adults will work to build strong relationships with all tamariki and each other.
  2. Tamariki and their whānau are welcomed each day and welcome each other.
  3. Adults have sustained interactions with tamariki and show interest in them.
  4. We recognise and celebrate people’s achievements and successes whether small or large.
  5. We explain and highlight the behaviours we expect – in conversation and in signs/images around the centre.
  6. We notice and provide positive feedback when people meet the expectations. 
  7. We have some consistent routines at Playcentre that help tamariki know what to expect when.
  8. We provide a safe and inclusive space for all Playcentre members, including providing quieter areas or spaces, minimising physical barriers and ensuring signage is inclusive.
  9. Information is shared appropriately to ensure consistent responses from the adults on session to similar behaviours.

Tamariki often go through stages of big emotions that can be overwhelming. They are learning to understand and regulate those emotions. We support their developing emotional competence by:

  1. Naming and describing feelings when we witness them, or notice them in stories.
  2. Acknowledge strong emotions, and link them to coping strategies.
  3. Supporting tamariki to help their peers when they are upset.
  4. Highlighting possible choices in managing.
  5. Building tamariki resilience and self-worth through.
    • Acknowledging developing skills and knowledge.
    • Preparing tamariki for change.
    • Noticing and providing positive commentary and feedback on practicing new skills and repeated attempts at a task/activity.
  6. Scaffolding tamariki as they manage heightened emotions.
    • Providing a neutral space where they can go to calm down.
    • Offer them support and comfort, but not infringing on their space if not wanted.
    • Having available tools for naming feelings and strategies to calm down.

Tamariki are also learning to interact with others and developing their social skills. We support this by:

  1. Modelling initiating and responding to social interactions.
  2. Noticing and praising demonstrations of social skills.
  3. Using puppets and/or stories to model things such as initiating play, saying no in considerate ways, negotiating turn-taking.
  4. Providing opportunities for tuakana-teina relationships, including encouraging care for younger tamariki, having tamariki show others how we do things here.
  5. Role modelling good problem solving.
  • Notice a problem
  • Think of solutions
  • Try the solution out
5.0 When children get hurt

While tamariki are learning to manage their emotions and about socially appropriate behaviours they will sometimes display behaviours that physically hurt another child. When this happens we will follow this basic process (adapted as necessary for the specific situation).

  1. Physically get down to tamariki level.
  2. Ensure our own emotions are in check and that we are approaching the situation with the intent of helping the tamariki.
  3. Attend first to the hurt child – acknowledge their hurt and apply any necessary medical treatment.
  4. Seek to understand what happened by asking both/all tamariki.
  5. Ask how they are feeling.
  6. Name and validate the emotions of both/all tamariki, be careful not to judge.
  7. Model showing regret for the child who was Do not require the other child to say sorry.
  8. Make the expectations of appropriate behaviour.
  9. Describe what tamariki could do differently next time, expressing optimism that they will learn from this and act differently next time.
  10. Support tamariki to return to play.
  11. Document and follow our injury / incident reporting procedure.
6.0 Additional support for tamariki and whānau

Where a child displays behavior that is more challenging and may be impacting on their learning or that of others in the Centre we will work alongside whānau and other Centre members to support that child.


Strategise solutions that may enable you to support the child within your Centre.

  1. Discussions at planning and End of Session Evaluation meetings.
  2. Reviewing the Providing Positive Guidance Policy or attending relevant workshops.
  3. Coming together as a Centre to provide additional whānau support.
  4. Centres are encouraged to provide advocates/buddies to assure needs and required support are communicated to all sessions the child attends.

Contact your Centre Advisor who will be able to provide further assistance.

  • Advice on strategies that have worked previously.
  • Access to online repository of resources to gain guidance and to support the centre.
  • Consider applying for internal funding for additional support within the centre.
  • Advice on seeking external support from other agencies, including the Ministry of Education.
6.3 Where whānau are resistant to help, generic Centre support maybe given during curriculum planning meetings or Centre business meetings.
6.4 Adults should work in partnership with skilled and specialist personnel, with parents/ whānau / caregivers, other care providers, groups and agencies in the educational and wider community.

Where a parent chooses to seek external assistance on their own they may look to the Ministry of Education Early Intervention Services, or find other appropriate support with the guidance of their Doctor.

Parents can, at any time, self-refer their child for early intervention if they are worried about learning, development or behaviour.

 Early Intervention services

Learning Support services