Interactive Play

The Interactive Play program is a 2-session training program for early childhood educators to enhance children's language development.

Program details

  • Priority area: Communication (language development)
  • Primary audience: Educators
  • Delivery mode: Group training, online, resources (books, kits, manuals)
  • Strength of evidence: Level 4 – Emerging research evidence
  • AEDC sub-domains:
    • Language and cognitive development – basic literacy
    • Language and cognitive development
    • Communication skills and general knowledge – communication and general knowledge
  • Item cost: Moderate ($200-$2,000 per person/item)

Program description

The Interactive Play program is a two-session capacity building program for early childhood educators. The Interactive Play program provides educators with the evidence, resources and strategies to enable them to facilitate children’s play, language and interaction skills within the preschool setting.

In the first two-hour session, educators are provided with a range of strategies that support children's play and language development across the early years. Speech and language normative data is provided to enable educators to provide accurate developmental surveillance. Educators then develop a plan to personalise and implement learnings within their setting. A pack of activity-based handouts with strategies for facilitating interaction and developing language skills within targeted open ended play spaces are provided.

The second one-hour session is a reflective practice session. Educators share feedback, reflect on changes in practice and through a range of targeted experiential tasks, refine their skills.

Detailed cost

  • Total cost per program: $365 (excluding GST) per person. This cost includes:
    • Two sessions delivered by a Paediatric Speech Pathologist (a two hour professional development session, and a one-hour reflective practise session)
    • Toolkit: handouts, play plan and resources
  • Most of the sessions are offered online and run with participants from multiple services. Some sessions are offered face-to-face.
  • Where in-person delivery is requested, additional travel costs apply. Travel is charged at $75 per half hour of travel per session within Metropolitan Melbourne and business hours.
  • Whole-of-service training can be negotiated at a group rate.

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: early childhood professionals and support staff including volunteers.
  • Program/practice descriptions and details: within the program, educators are encouraged to work in partnerships with families. This includes engaging in conversations with families about their child’s development and sharing ideas, information and strategies that empower families to support their child’s development in the home.
  • Program adaptability: whole-of-service training is recommended, and can be negotiated at a group rate. Where in-person delivery is requested, travel costs apply.
  • Staffing: services should consider the cost of backfill when determining the cost of accessing this resource.
  • Factors to consider: the time commitment for each educator to participate in the program is three hours. Sessions are delivered during business hours, Monday to Friday. The two sessions are delivered with at least a 2-week gap.
  • Tools and systems: participants attending the program online will require access to a computer with reliable internet and a microphone and camera for the duration of both sessions. There are no additional resource requirements as educators will be encouraged to use resources already within their centres.

VEYLDF alignment

Item uses these practice principles

  • Reflective practice
  • Partnerships with families
  • High expectations for every child
  • Respectful relationships and responsive engagement
  • Equity and diversity
  • Assessment for learning and development
  • Integrated teaching and learning approaches

Item responds to these sub-outcomes

Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.

Updated