Positive Guidance Policy— Developing Social Emotional Competence


Mahia i runga i te rangimārie me te ngākau māhaki.
With a peaceful mind and respectful heart, we will always get the best results.

At Kindercare, we believe that for a child to reach their full potential, they need loving, reciprocal relationships and a foundation of critical skills to self-regulate their behaviour. Through authentic parent partnership, fostering whanaungatanga, and offering a child-focused curriculum, we are committed to the development of each child’s social emotional competence. Our Positive Child Guidance Policy aims to ensure the tamariki entrusted to us are treated with aroha, respect and dignity.

Policy Details

The role of the Kaiako is to create an inclusive, culturally responsive setting, where each child feels safe, loved and learning. As reflective practitioners, our Kaiako will consistently use ‘He Mapuna te Tamaiti’ to guide our practice and the strategies we use to develop each child’s social emotional competence. Our policy defines clear expectations of Kaiako, whānau and tamariki, within our three core values.



  • Through culturally responsive practice, create a sense of belonging for tamariki and whānau where they feel their contribution is valued, and their differences are celebrated.
  • Foster a safe, supportive environment, where tamariki are not afraid to make mistakes, and are taught to value mistakes as learning opportunities.
  • Intentionally use safe, inclusive calming spaces that are consistently available to tamariki.
  • Role model and communicate positive attitudes, values and social emotional competencies that strengthen and enhance young children’s social emotional development. This includes using praise and encouragement; avoiding blame, harsh language, and belittling or degrading responses.
  • Establish consistent and predictable routines.


  • Work in partnership with Kindercare to build reciprocal, respectful relationships. As co-creators of their child’s environment and the trust they place in Kindercare, acknowledge the pivotal role they play in our purposeful partnerships.
  • Acknowledge the active and meaningful role they play in their child’s early care and education through a willingness to negotiate differing goals, values and expectations.
  • In the centre environment, role-model and communicate positive attitudes, values and social emotional competencies that strengthen and enhance young children’s social emotional development. This includes using praise and encouragement and avoiding blame, harsh language, any form of intimidation, and belittling or degrading responses.


  • Respect and care for each other, our Kaiako, and our environment.
  • Be given opportunities and encouragement, through restorative conversations and behaviours, to take responsibility for their actions. This is how tamariki learn the natural consequences of an action.
  • Give tamariki agency by providing them with language and strategies to enhance their mana, encourage them to respond with empathy, to restore relationships, and become kaitiaki of their environment.



  • Be purposeful in creating a predictable, loving environment for tamariki that supports each child’s mana whenua / sense of belonging.
  • Nurture peer friendships and close affectionate connections with each child.
  • Be present with tamariki, intentionally role modelling empathy and ways to care for others.
  • Foster whakawhanaungatanga (respectful, reciprocal relationships) to meaningfully engage with whānau in warm, culturally responsive ways that deepen our knowledge of each child and develop greater understanding of home life.
  • Commit to building trust and understanding whānau values, through regular, unhurried conversations and communication.
  • Recognise our individual responsibility to intentionally discover our unconscious biases and to value cultural diversity.
  • Encourage and use positive, kind language and a friendly tone to support tamariki in learning their responsibility and their role in restoring relationships, and understanding why there are consequences for their actions.


  • Share home values, cultural beliefs and their aspirations for their child with Kindercare.
  • Work in partnership with Kindercare to build and strengthen caring, connected relationships.
  • Actively engage with and contribute to building continuity between home life and centre life.
  • In those instances where additional support is required, be willing to collaborate with and actively engage with Family Services, use of Triple P Program (and other external agencies if needed), in order to wrap around and respond to the needs of tamariki.
  • Be mindful and respectful of how and where information is shared in the centre, when other whānau, tamariki and Kaiako are present.


  • Help and care for each other, and their environment.
  • Build awareness and responsiveness to the needs and safety of others.
  • Kōrero and respond kindly to others, accepting of different values, and express feelings respectfully.



  • Recognise the importance of developing our own social emotional competencies first, and integrating this into our Professional Growth Cycle, in order to support tamariki in developing their social emotional competence.
  • Develop a personalised, flexible, and holistic plan for each child’s social and emotional development.
  • In collaboration with whānau, identify and intentionally remove barriers to learning and engagement, in all curriculum areas.
  • Embed respect into our curriculum by asking: What matters here, for this child and this family? And then be purposeful in adapting behaviour and the curriculum to support the best outcomes for that child.
  • Enhance and promote each child’s sense of their personal identity; look for shared values, deepen your knowledge of the child’s home language and culture to gain an in-depth understanding of the child’s ways of knowing, doing, and being.
  • Intentionally integrate, Kindercare’s social emotional development program, You Can Do It, throughout the curriculum and learning environment.
  • Provide tamariki with clear, realistic and developmentally appropriate expectations, boundaries, and routines.
  • Use problem solving and critical thinking techniques to support tamariki in making their own decisions and belief in themselves as capable learners.
  • Be an emotions coach for tamariki to help them understand and express feelings and emotions.


  • Create opportunities to intentionally communicate clear aspirations and values for their child’s learning and social emotional development.
  • Share iwi connections and stories, and as both a teacher and a learner, actively contribute to their child’s early learning.
  • Acknowledge the importance of sharing concerns or issues with us, in a safe and kind way – giving us the opportunity to address them in partnership.


  • Experience an environment where curiosity about others and respecting differences is encouraged and valued
  • Given opportunities to kōrero, listen to, and share their own stories, celebrate their language, music and unique whakapapa.
  • Learn to care for and help others, through tuakana-teina (supportive relationship that flows from leader to learner) experiences.

Children with Diverse Needs

In Kindercare’s Enrolment Agreement, we commit to taking all practicable steps to provide an inclusive and safe early childhood service for all tamariki. 

When an individual child is identified as having diverse needs, a meeting will be held between the parents/caregivers and Kindercare employees to determine how best to meet the child’s care and learning needs in the early childhood centre environment. Once the needs have been identified and assessed through this meeting, Kindercare will consult with appropriate agencies including but not limited to previous ece centre, MOE, MOH, etc so that a clear plan and follow up actions can be put in place. Shared communication and follow up meetings will be required, and also possible consent for future referrals to the necessary agencies will be needed by all parties.

Following this consultation process, and in the event that Kindercare believes they are not able to reasonably provide a safe and appropriate care and learning environment for the child, this will be discussed with the parents and whānau at the time of enrolment, or at any future time during enrolment. Alternative care arrangements may need to be made after all available options have been explored.

Last Review Date: 15 February 2022

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