Social and emotional competence in early childhood education

HomeEarly childhood education resourcesSocial and emotional competence in early childhood education

Social and emotional competence in early childhood education

HomeEarly childhood education resourcesSocial and emotional competence in early childhood education

Topic summary

Research reviews

What is social and emotional competence?

An introduction to the concept of social and emotional competence and why it is so important for children’s learning, development and wellbeing.

Creating a positive social and emotional climate

A range of strategies to help early childhood teachers build a positive and enriching social and emotional climate in their settings.

Cultivating your own emotional awareness: Reflective questions to help you build better relationships and support children’s social and emotional development

A set of questions to help early childhood teachers gauge and develop their own emotional awareness and wellbeing.

Supporting children’s emotional learning in early childhood

The importance of emotional knowledge and wellbeing, and how teachers can support it in early childhood education.

Scaffolding social skills in early childhood

A range of strategies to help teachers build and develop children’s social competence in ECE.

Supporting children’s self-management skills

Practical strategies to help children learn to self-manage in early childhood settings.

Supporting children with challenging behaviour

Understanding why challenging behaviour occurs and how to respond to it.

How to address problem behaviour

Practical strategies for dealing with challenging behaviour in early childhood settings.

How to handle conflict between children

Specific advice on responding to instances of conflict between young children in early childhood settings.

Strategies for talking with young children about growth mindsets

Strategies for talking to young children about developing and holding a growth mindset.

Teaching resilience to children under six

How to talk to young children about resilience and a set of strategies to help them start developing their resilience in early childhood settings.


Understanding challenging behaviour in early childhood

Dr Anna Winneker will explore why children will exhibit challenging behaviour including a discussion of specific emotional or behavioural disorders, and how teachers in early childhood contexts can respond positively and effectively to children

Preventing and responding to challenging behaviour in young children

Dr Anna Winneker will focus on strategies to understand why particular behaviour may be happening and how to prevent and respond to incidents when they occur.

Promoting children’s social-emotional learning and development

Exploring different resources, tools, and professional learning processes to support teachers to promote children’s social-emotional learning

Supporting the social and emotional competence of infants and toddlers

Dr Karyn Aspden and Linda Clarke from Massey University discuss their research into the teaching practices that support social-emotional competence of infants and toddlers.


Social and emotional competence

Social emotional competence and how to support it in early childhood settings.


Intentional interactions with infants and toddlers

Using deliberate strategies to support infants’ and toddlers’ emotional wellbeing and learning.

Providing challenge and exploring risk in outdoor play

Challenging and risky play provides multiple opportunities for physical and social emotional learning.

Routines with heart: When routines become rituals

Developing routines and rituals helps give children a sense of ownership of the daily programme.

Environments and resources that promote agency

Valuing children’s right to advocate for their own and others’ ideas.

Being a behaviour detective: Looking for clues within children’s challenging behaviours

Key insights from our webinar with Anna Winneker on responding to and preventing challenging behaviours.
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