Children with additional needs training

Learning modules to help early childhood professionals develop their practice. Includes Early ABLES, autism, disability and early childhood intervention online courses.


Including children on the autism spectrum in the early years

The including children on the autism spectrum in the early years learning modules will help you develop a greater understanding of young children on the autism spectrum in their setting and to plan inclusive programs that support their learning and development.

Aims of the modules

The modules bring together introductory information about Autism Spectrum Disorder, policy and framework guidance plus programming approaches to support responsiveness to the individual needs of children on the autism spectrum.

Who the course is for

The course is relevant for both educators who are currently working with children on the autism spectrum and those who wishing to develop their knowledge and skills in this area.

The modules also provide access to a range of downloadable tools that are designed to support planning for quality, inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) programs.

Course outcomes

Completion of this course will contribute towards Victorian Teaching Institute (VIT) registration requirements.

Module content information

Module 1 - An introduction to young children on the autism spectrum

This module is designed to build understanding of young children on the autism spectrum. It covers:

  • what is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
  • how educators learn from observing the child
  • the importance of working in partnership with families
  • collaborating with early childhood professionals and support services.

Module 2 - Practice to support planning for the learning and development of a child on the autism spectrum

This module looks at the ways in which legislation and frameworks support us to plan and provide a program that supports the inclusion of children on the autism spectrum in learning and development opportunities offered in early childhood education and care environments.

This module has a focus on the 8 practice principles, which are clearly linked with inclusive programing and support for children on the autism spectrum:

  • family-centred practice
  • partnerships with professionals
  • high expectations for every child
  • equity and diversity
  • respectful relationships and responsive engagement
  • integrated teaching and learning approaches
  • assessment for learning and development
  • reflective practice.

Module 3 - Developing a responsive program

  • framework of adapting the program to support the meaningful participation and ongoing learning and development of children on the autism spectrum
  • programming with an aim to foster independence for children on the autism spectrum
  • a team approach to inclusion
  • how to support ongoing learning by using the child's strengths and interests as a starting point.

Early childhood intervention training

We are working in partnership with Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) to provide professional development opportunities for ECIS professionals.

There are a number of opportunities in Victoria for professional development across all areas of early childhood intervention; both general and discipline-specific.

Early ABLES tool and professional learning module

Early Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) is an online assessment for learning tool that helps early childhood educators develop and provide a more personalised learning experience for children aged two to five years with disabilities or developmental delay, within the context of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) setting.

Professional learning portal

Access the free online Early ABLES professional learning module- for early childhood educators.

Use enrolment key: Early_ABLES33.

The Early ABLES online professional learning contributes up to five hours to the Victorian Institute of Teaching's annual professional learning requirements of 20 hours.

Claim backfill contribution

ECEC services can claim contribution towards backfill for one day for educators who

To claim:

Trouble accessing learning module

The following video provides step by step instructions to accessing the online learning modules:

Who the Early ABLES tool is for

This tool is designed for use by educators working with children aged two to five years with disabilities or developmental delay and their families. Use of this tool will also strengthen connections between services.

It can also be used to support the transition to school for children with disabilities or developmental delays.

The tool will help educators to:

  • assess the child's progress in learning
  • develop appropriate learning goals in collaboration with families and other professionals involved in the education and care of the child
  • develop and further refine  personalised learning plans with proven teaching and learning strategies
  • monitor progress along a likely progression of learning
  • better support the development of the individual child's learning program through using the Early Years Planning Cycle
  • improve transition processes through consistent information sharing across services and schools.

Find out more about the online assessment and planning for learning tool.

Early ABLES champions

We are seeking interest from early childhood educators for a free two-day professional learning opportunity. The opportunity will appoint Early ABLES champions to help early childhood education and care (ECEC) services use the Early ABLES tool.  

An Early ABLES champion is someone with interest, knowledge and experience in using the Early ABLES resource. They will also have completed the Early ABLES online professional learning program.

Within the local area, Early ABLES champions, early childhood professionals and ‘Teams around the Educator’ will promote the Early ABLES online tool and online professional learning course to interested early childhood educators and ECEC services.

Early ABLES champions will be given training to:

  • further develop assessment and planning skills to include children with disabilities and/or developmental delays
  • develop/extend coaching/mentoring skills
  • deliver Early ABLES training to other early childhood educators.

Team around the educator

The ‘Team around the Educator’ role gives support to the Early ABLES champion by developing an understanding of the tool. ‘Team around the Educator’ will be made up of other key early childhood professionals such as director/service providers, educational leaders, preschool field officers, inclusion professionals and early childhood intervention professionals. ‘Team around the Educator’ acts as a support to the Early ABLES champion, and as a conduit of professional learning amongst the early childhood community.

The Early ABLES champion and ‘Team around the Educator’ are unfunded positions. 

Training structure

Two free, full-day professional learning sessions will be provided to Early ABLES champions and ‘Teams around the Learner’ to support them in their role and to acknowledge their contribution to the support of children with disabilities and/or developmental delays.

Early ABLES champions will be given a pack to help them promote the resource.

Employers of staff undertaking Department approved professional learning are eligible to claim a contribution towards hiring an early childhood professional to backfill the staff member during workshop days. Reimbursement contribution is also available for staff accommodation if required. For further information, please contact .

Day 1

This session will be delivered by us. The session will focus on developing content, skills and knowledge around the Early ABLES tool and how best to utilise and implement it in ECEC settings. Attendance is compulsory for champions and ‘Teams around the Educator’.

Day 2 

This session will be delivered by Semann Slattery and Associates, in collaboration with the Department. Day 2 is aimed at developing skills in coaching and mentoring other educators. Attendance is compulsory for champions, and is optional for ‘Teams around the Educator’.

Selection criteria

The successful candidate will have:

  • completed the Early ABLES online professional learning program
  • interest, knowledge and/ or experience in using the Early ABLES resources
  • a commitment to discussing the Early ABLES tool to promote the implementation within their service and more broadly
  • submitted an expression of interest with director/service provider signature.

Proposed dates

The proposed dates for training are:

  • Cohort 1
    Wednesday 27 February and Thursday 28 February 2019
    Premiere Function Centre
    29 Grey Street Traralgon VIC 3844
  • Cohort 2
    Wednesday 6 March and Thursday 7 March 2019
    The Savoy Hotel on Little Collins
    630 Little Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • Cohort 3
    Thursday 28 March and Friday 29 March 2019
    Quest Shepparton
    177-183 Welsford Street Shepparton VIC 3630
  • Cohort 4
    Wednesday 3 April and Thursday 4 April 2019
    Mantra Bell City
    215 Bell Street Preston VIC 3072
  • Cohort 5
    Wednesday May 8 and Thursday 9 May 2019
    Quality Hotel Mildura Grand
    Seventh Street Mildura VIC 3500


Disadvantaged children

Continuity of learning - addressing vulnerability or disadvantage

Continuity of early learning - addressing vulnerability or disadvantageis a new professional development course being offered through Bastow for early childhood and school professionals in 2018.

About the course

The fully subsidised course focuses on strengthening the partnerships that matter most for children to achieve successful transition to school – partnerships between early childhood, primary school and parents.

Course outcomes

With an emphasis on supporting children and families experiencing vulnerability and/or disadvantage, the course will explore:

  • the evidence-based practices that work
  • how your team can implement these practices across and within services/schools
  • how individuals in your team can maximise their work together to achieve the very best possible outcomes for these children and families.