Early childhood professionals and families who engage respectfully and responsively with children from birth in everyday routines and experiences promote children’s confidence and empowerment. This includes encouraging children to initiate and lead their own learning, and teaching them how to engage effectively with others - VEYLDF, 

Routine is about being disciplined – Discipline lies at the core of guiding and managing behaviours

“Motivation ebbs and flows, but you can rely on your routine to push you through when you’re lacking the energy and motivation to keep going” As Woodlanders we are fortunate to have systems in place to help with routines.

It is significant for staff to understand the role of routine in persevering an effective learning environment. Routines must be explicitly taught, repeatedly reinforced, and consistently maintained. This commands dedication, commitment and teamwork as woodlanders begin to understand that routines will be easily established when they are shared throughout the centre.


Practical tips to build effective routines

Teachers and educators can strengthen their approach to routines by considering the following actions: 

  • Parent partnership meetings: Collaborative with families and gain insight into how children participate in routines and everyday processes such as resting, eating, toileting, self-help and managing their belongings at home. Ask families about how their children are progressing in these routines, and to identify which areas may need more support.
  • Planning: Collaborate the information you have received and what you know about children’s development to plan for routines that extend learning and development. It might help to include a section in the program plan that identifies how children’s learning in routines will be supported by educators. Extend this by systematically planning for different routines that build children’s skills.
  • Intentional teaching strategies: Incorporate intentional teaching strategies to encourage children to understand how to manage routines. For example:

- What to do at drop off times
- How to wash their hands
- How to apply sunscreen
- How to fill up water bottles

This will encourage children to manage routines effectively, gain confidence,
develop positive social skills and provide varied open- ended opportunities
for enhanced thinking skills.


  • Inclusion: Support children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds by using bilingual educators or family members to communicate to families about how educators enhance learning in routines.
  • Support: Talk to allied health professionals or support staff to see how best to modify routines to support children with additional needs.


Evaluating critical and reflective discussions with staff regarding routine and practice – Ensuring the team have an equal and clear understanding of expectations of room/centre routine.

Discussion Points: 

  • What is our current knowledge regarding the benefit of establishing routines in early childhood education?
  • How can we work as a team to educate families about the significance of routines teaching, learning and development?  
  • Are the current routines achievable by all children? Are they age appropriate? Are they reflective of diverse abilities? Are we setting realistic expectations for children to engage in the routines in which we have established?
  • What procedures do we currently have in place to ensure that children are aware of routine? How can we alter our current approaches to maximise the learning and development outcomes that routines provide?



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