Respectful Practice

Respectful Practice

17 September 2014

Children need to experience gentle and respectful interactions during all care times.  Care times need to be individualized to meet the needs and developmental level of each child, and shouldn’t be rushed through to get on to the “Real Learning”.  All care times should be a partnership with co-operation, a two part dance that is led by the child.

Care times require joint attention.  A child is focused on the activity and the adult is attentive to the activity of the child.  All care times should be pleasurable activities with real interest and a desire to be involved that should consist of negotiation and compromise, two equal partners working together.

So how do we ensure that our care times are respectful experiences that invite participation and empower children?

Nappy Changing

  • Children should always come to the bathroom as willing participants.
  • Children should be actively involved in the changing process and they should know exactly what is going on.
  • Children should be given the opportunity to move freely during changes.
  • Nappy changes should be slow and unhurried experiences.


  • Children are offered choices during dressing.
  • Children are free to move while getting dressed.
  • Children are actively involved in getting dressed.
  • Children are given time to try things out independently.


  • Children's individual sleep schedules should be followed.
  • Children should have a familiar place to sleep.
  • Children's preferences around sleep should be encouraged and respected.

Meal Times

  • Meal times should always be a pleasurable experience for children.
  • Children should receive individual attention during meal times.
  • Children should be given the opportunity participate fully in the feeding experience.
  • Children’s individual preferences should be respected during meal times.