Children's Education and Care - Draft 3 Validation

CHCECE038_Observe children to inform practice Draft 3.2

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Unit application and prerequisites




Observe children to inform practice


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to identify and gather information about children from observation and other sources as part of a collaborative process and as a basis for curriculum planning.


This unit applies to educators who contribute to the curriculum planning process under the guidance of others in regulated children’s education and care services in Australia.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian standards and industry codes of practice.




Early Childhood Education and Care


Children’s Education and Care


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Elements and performance criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

  1. Observe and interact with children.
    1. Identify children’s interests, ideas, knowledge, skills and strengths based on observation and interactions.
    2. Investigate and understand a range of observation techniques.
    3. Seek guidance from colleagues about observation tools and processes.
    4. Select appropriate observation technique according to the context of the observation.
  1. Seek information from secondary sources.
    1. Use information from children’s records and family to assist in curriculum planning.
    2. Collaborate with others to collect information about each child’s needs, interests, skills and cultural practices.
  1. Record and communicate information.
    1. Observe the child and accurately record meaningful information according to service requirements.
    2. Discuss information gathered with relevant people to inform planning.
    3. Discuss and record information in ways that are free from bias and negative labelling of children.
  1. Analyse & interpret information and observations.
    1. Reflect on information gathered from observations and secondary sources.
    2. Identify and use opportunities to discuss reflections with colleagues and gain their perspectives.
    3. Identify learning and development aspects of the child based on gathered information.
    4. Determine and document links to the approved learning framework.
  1. Contribute to curriculum planning.
    1. Use information gathered and own reflections about the child to contribute to the planning of programs that promote children’s learning, development and wellbeing.
    2. Use information gathered about the child to support interactions that are responsive and respectful of individual needs.


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Foundation skills


Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:

  • interpret children’s records.

Writing skills to:

  • record information and observations according to organisational procedures.

Oral communication skills to:

  • ask open and closed questions and actively listen to seek information and confirm understanding.
  • interact with and engage with children and families to build rapport.

Initiative and enterprise skills to:

  • determine appropriate strategies to support children’s individual needs.
  • identify and evaluate relevance of various sources of information for curriculum planning.

Technology skills to:

  • use digital media to record information according to organisational policies and procedures.




Companion Volume Implementation Guide


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Performance evidence


Assessment Requirements for CHCECE038 Observe children to inform practice


Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • gather, document, reflect on, and use information about three different children between the ages of birth to six years, one of whom must be under 23 months used to inform curriculum planning for each of the three children.
  • when completing the above tasks:
    • gather information using at least three different observation techniques for each child
    • use at least two secondary sources for each child
    • communicate a perspective about:
      • aspects of child’s development
      • individual interests and learning
    • explain links to approved learning framework.


CHCECE038 - Observe children to inform practice

"Age requirements - these will be very difficult to achieve as I am thinking you are assuming that all students will have access to the 23 months and under group. This is untrue, as students will come to study under a variety of conditions - workers in Kindy programs, OSHC Educators, Non-workers who are trying to find placement. The student will already complete the placement requirements for the CHCECE032 unit during their study. The extra requirement for a student to find a babies placement again is difficult (prior to Covid-19 and during). I would ask for the AGE RANGE TO BE REMOVED. Has industry indicated to you that they are closing up on placement options for students who are non-workers? I would like to put forward that you are asking more and more of Certificate III students and this requirement for this single unit needs to be removed. Please also consider that not every student studying lives in a city, has access to multiple placement options and age grouping. Remote students have minimal options. This qualification should be able to be studied and completed by everyone."

Stacy Walters 11.09.2020 06.25AM

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1 Reply

"I agree here."

Nicola Johnston 11.09.2020 05.51PM

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Knowledge evidence


Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • requirements of the following National Quality Standard and related regulations and laws applicable to this unit, including:
    • educational program and practice
    • relationships with children
    • collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  • stages of child development and how they are used in curriculum planning
  • stages of the curriculum planning cycle:
    • gathering information
    • questioning and analysing information
    • planning
    • implementation
    • review and reflection
  • key considerations for collecting information:
    • confidentiality and privacy requirements
    • changes in child or family circumstance
    • what information is important and why
    • different types of information – primary and secondary sources
    • importance of using a strengths-based approach to children’s learning and development
    • communication techniques for:
      • collaboration
      • questioning
  • ways of gathering information and who may be involved
    • range of observation techniques
    • appropriate application of different techniques
    • stakeholders
      • children
      • family
      • educators
      • carers and significant adults
      • community
      • other relevant professionals
  • how to make and document meaningful observations
    • subjective vs objective language
    • avoidance of labelling
    • past and present tense
    • avoidance of bias
  • ways of questioning and reviewing information to gain better understanding of children’s needs and learning opportunities
  • how individual educators can contribute to the planning stage based on information collected
  • reflective practice:
    • what is reflection
    • why and how educators use reflection
    • what is meaningful reflection,


Observation strategies

"Can I make the suggestion that there are prescribed observation styles? Being able to document anecdotal and running records should be a minimum requirement."

Caroline Lancaster 04.09.2020 03.49PM

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Assessment conditions


Skills must be demonstrated in a regulated education and care service in Australia:

  • performance evidence may be collected through authenticated third-party reports
  • third-party reports must be supplemented by other forms of evidence
  • interactions with children must be supervised by an approved early childhood educator.


Assessment must ensure access to:

  • observation-recording tools
  • children’s records (real or simulated)
  • information technology
  • National Quality Framework:
    • National Quality Standard
    • the relevant approved learning framework
  • service standards, policies and procedures for:
    • educational program and practice
    • relationships with children
    • collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  • educators and supervisor for collaborative activities
  • children in a regulated education and care service in Australia.


Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations’ requirements for assessors.


Companion Volume Implementation Guide



"I think it is really important that students at Cert III level have an understanding of how to write anecdotals in particular as being able to write an objective observation for the purposes of learning assessment and if required to document issues - eg, child protection. The current wording for this unit is not specific to incorporate this fundamental skill"

Janine Johnston 04.09.2020 03.45PM

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1 Reply

"Great point Janine"

Wendy Foord 07.09.2020 04.00PM

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"A good unit. Would be good to see specific observation types included ensuring ancedotal, running records, and other observation types- time samples etc "

Sue Wyatt 04.09.2020 03.38PM

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