Programming and Play

As part of being an In Home Care (IHC) Educator you will be responsible for providing an early learning program for the children within your care, this should be in conjunction with the Family Management Plan (FMP) provided by the In Home Care Support Agency (IHCSA) to the IHC Service Provider the family is engaged with.

Quality programs are developed to support and guide children in all areas of their learning and development, in ways that take into account each child’s interests, strengths, experiences, culture and needs.

There is no set way a program must look, however, programs should involve planning for all areas of children’s learning and development, including their:

  • physical skills (large and small muscles)
  • language and literacy skills
  • personal and interpersonal skills
  • creativity and skills in expressive arts
  • problem solving, thinking and mathematical abilities
  • The activities and experiences to build these understandings and skills will look different, depending upon the age or the developmental level of the child.

Below please find some links to programming and play that may assist you in your role as an educator:

National Approved Learning Frameworks

There are two nationally approved learning frameworks which outline practices that support and promote children’s learning:

There is also the following approved learning framework specific to Victoria:
Victoria: Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework

Play Australia

Play Australia is the peak national advocacy organisation for PLAY.
We support outdoor play by way of inspiration, advice, access to information and professional services.
As the Australian branch of the International Play Association (IPA) we protect the human rights of all children to play, as recognised within Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Importance of Play to your Child’s Holistic Development
Play Australia

Physical Activity

A child’s job is to play. They love to be active. Making physical activity a part of their daily routine is not only fun, but also healthy. Encouraging kids to be active when they are young establishes a routine that could stay with them throughout their life.

Some of the benefits of physical activity for children include:

  • Improved cardiovascular fitness (heart and lungs)
  • Maintenance of a healthy weight
  • Improved posture
  • Better sleep patterns
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Improved concentration
  • Help with relaxation
  • Building stronger bones and muscles
  • Improved balance
  • Skills development
  • Increased flexibility
  • Opportunities to make friends and enhance social skills.

Better Health Channel


Pre-schooler creative learning and development: what to expect.
Key points:

  • Creative play develops pre-schooler confidence, language, physical and thinking skills, imagination and emotional understanding.
  • Dramatic play helps pre-schoolers make sense of the world.
  • Arts and craft activities encourage self-expression and decision-making.
  • Sound play, music and dance let pre-schoolers express all kinds of feelings.

Creative activities for preschooler learning and development

Professional Development Links
Early Childhood Australia
Early Childhood Australia – Webinars

Free Professional Development for Early Childhood Professionals

Literacy and Reading
Reading Rockets – There is no more important activity for preparing your child to succeed as a reader than reading aloud together.
Fill your story times with a variety of books. Be consistent, be patient, and watch the magic work.

Raising Children – Sharing stories, talking and singing every day helps your child’s development in many ways.

Reading and books are a vital part of children’s development by using the my community directory and selecting your location and searching library you are able to find the one closest to your area.

State Library of Victoria – 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Offers the Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter which is a purpose built space for children and families to read, learn and play with an associated program if activities.
They offer a calendar of programs and events for children and families as well as an online space.

State Library of Queensland – Stanley Place, South Brisbane
Discover programs and spaces for children and families, find out about First 5 Forever and explore eResources that make accessing library content and exhibitions easy from home.
During the summer holidays you’ll find information about State Library’s holiday programs, exhibitions and events and The Summer Reading Club.

Queensland Children’s Services Library

QCSL are a not-for profit organisation, funded by the Queensland Government’s Office for Early Childhood Education and Care and sponsored by the Geebung & Wavell Heights Uniting Church.
QCSL contact details:
147 RODE Road, Wavell Heights, Queensland 4012.
Phone: 07 3861 9610
Resources cover areas such as:

  • Early Years Learning Framework
  • Child Development
  • Programming
  • Observation
  • Environment
  • Multiculturalism
  • Student Text Books
  • Inclusion/Additional Needs
  • Arts
  • Craft
  • Music
  • Policy
  • Behaviour Management
  • Child Protection
  • Training DVD’s
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Parenting
  • Grief
  • Children’s Books
  • Literacy
  • Games
  • Outside School Hours Care


Visit the Queensland Government’s “Early Education and Care” page for insights into the benefits of music for children, with topics including:

  • Make simple musical instruments
  • Types of musical experiences
  • Set up a music environment
  • Enjoy music as a group
  • Use recorded music


Language development in children: 0 – 8 years

Key points:

  • Language development supports many other aspects of development, like cognitive, social and literacy development.
  • Language development starts with sounds and gestures, then words and sentences.
  • You can support language development by talking a lot with your child, and responding when your child communicates.
  • Reading books and sharing stories is good for language development.
  • If you’re worried about language development, talk with a child health professional.

Social Skills

Developing Social Skills
From birth, babies spend almost every waking minute developing their first relationships with their parents and close family members. Through these relationships, young children learn that they can trust people to care for them, get their needs met and enjoy life with others.

Think about the relationship your child has with you as being the foundation on which they’ll build all their subsequent relationships. When this is strong, and when kids get the comfort and reassurance they need from you, they feel confident exploring the world from a stable, secure base.

Social development: children 1-5 years

5-6 years: child development