ECA Community of Practice: Play-based learning in early childhood



National Quality Standard
QA1Educational program and practice
QA5Relationships with children
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
1Know students and how they learn
3Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
4Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
6Engage in professional learning
7Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community


The purpose of this Community of Practice is to understand what play and play-based learning are, what this looks like within a curriculum and the importance of play for children in the early years. You will have the opportunity to discover and explore different avenues of research and ideas to develop your understanding of play and play-based learning.

We all know that play is important and can look different in different contexts. Alongside your fellow learning community, you will develop strategies, share ideas, and explore ways of being and knowing through play contextualised to your service setting. You will engage in reflective dialogue with the purpose of developing your professional practice around play, and this sharing of knowledge will enhance the learning experience as you delve deeper into the benefits and complexities of play.

In this Community of Practice, you will seek to identify, through action research and critically reflective dialogue, the role of play in each child’s learning journey.


Engaging in action research will allow you to focus on the unique experiences of the children in your own context and create a plan for meaningful support, change or learning within the environment.


Learning outcomes:

  • Shift and extend your pedagogical understanding of how to design and facilitate play-based curriculums
  • Explore the connection between play-based learning approaches and intentionality
  • Design, implement and evaluate an effective action research project
  • Become an active member of the CoP by engaging in critically reflective dialogue with peers and colleagues across Australia