Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit enables early year’s educators to gain understanding of the importance of families in the care and education of young children. It explores the diverse, complex and changing nature of Australian families and communities and the role of early childhood professional in building collaborative relationships with families and communities. Skills in effective oral and written communication and reflective practice will be developed within this unit.


This unit aims to assist pre-service teachers to explore relevant national and state documents such as the Early Years Learning Framework and the Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics and their implications for authentic partnerships with families that can ensure responsive care and education of young children from diverse communities.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - explain and reflect on ethical and professional attributes and responsibilities of the early childhood professional in their relationships with diverse families (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8; ACECQA D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, E3, F3)

LO2 - reflect on the purpose for establishing collaborative partnerships within the context of education and care and broader community (GA5; ACECQA D1, D2, D3, D4, D5)

LO3 - implement practices that promote continuity of care and learning for each child (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5; ACECQA A1, A8, C1, D4)

LO4 - identify and critically analyse processes involved in establishing effective communication networks that exist to build continuities for the child’s learning (GA4, GA9; ACECQA A8, D1, E3)

LO5 - identify, analyse and discuss the range of family supports available within local, national and international contexts (GA4, GA5; ACECQA D1, E3)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following specific knowledge:

A. Psychology and child development           

A1. Learning, development and care

A8. Transitions and continuity of learning (including transition to school)

C. Early childhood pedagogies          

C1. alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

D. Families and community partnerships

D1. Developing family and community partnerships

D2   multicultural education

D3. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives

D4. Socially inclusive practice

D5. Culture, diversity and inclusion

E. History and philosophy of early childhood

E3. Ethics and professional practice

F. Early childhood professional practice

F3. Identity


Topics will include:

  •  National and international perspectives on care and education in the early years including the pedagogy of listening, ethics of care, circle of security, and Pikler approach
  • Particular focus will be given to Australian Indigenous perspectives on care and education in the early years
  • Pedagogy of relationships- relationships between child, family, and teacher within a quality, social justice and ethical framework
  • Theories and practices of early year’s pedagogy, in particular creating quality care and learning environments and collaborative relationships with children, families and colleagues

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to progress and demonstrate their understandings in this unit. Participants will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to support learning, including: online materials, workshop/tutorial attendance (where applicable), readings, discussion forums and assignment preparation. The unit delivery will consist of a digital core with the expectation of students working with these materials for a minimum of three hours or equivalent each week. In addition, a three hour workshop/tutorial may be held once every three weeks (i.e., 4 times a semester or equivalent) in face-to-face mode or the equivalent in intensive mode. There will be an opportunity for the content to be applied in the professional experience program and students will draw on the ethical, theoretical and practical considerations of this unit for their professional practice.


This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then become private study.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the unit learning outcomes and demonstrate attainment of professional standards.

The total of assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 5,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Assessment task 1 (2,500 words or equivalent)

Essay exploring and reflecting on the pedagogy of relationships as presented through National and /or State curriculum and policy documents


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Assessment task 2 (2,500 words)

Professional Relationship-based scenario

  • Analysis - drawing on relevant literature and elements of national and/or State curriculum and policy documents
  • Identify and reflect on implications for practice –i.e. teaching strategies, available resources, environments and interactions with children, colleagues and families, communication strategies


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Berger, E. H. & Cortez, M.R. (2012). Parents as partners in education. Families and schools working together (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Bowes, J., Grace, R., & Hodge, K. (Eds) (2012). Children, families and communities (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Butterfield, P., Martin, C.A. & Prairie, A.P. (2004). Emotional connections: How relationships guide early learning. Washington D.C.: Zero to Three

Crozier G., & Reay, D. (Eds) (2005). Activating participation. Parents and teachers working towards partnership. Sterling, VA: Trentham Books.

Gonzalez-Mena, J. (2007). 50 early childhood strategies for working and communicating with diverse families. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Hughes, P. & Black, A. & Kaldor, P., Bellamy, J., & Castle, K. (2007). Building stronger communities. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.

Papatheodorou, T. & Moyles, J (eds.). (2009). Learning together in the early years: Exploring relational pedagogy. New York: Routledge.

Rubin, H. (2009). Collaborative leadership: Developing effective partnerships for communities and schools (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks: Corwin.

Siraj-Blatchford, I., Clarke, K., & Needham, M. (Eds). (2007). The team around the child: Multi-agency in the early years. Stoke on Trent: Threntham Books Limited.

Wright, K., Stegelin, D.A., Hartle, L. (2007). Building family, school, and community partnerships (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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