SRF Program

  • Improving Child Social and Emotional Development with Robotic Play

    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, Integrated teaching and learning approaches.

    Item responds to these sub-outcomes: Children become strong in their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.


    ​This program provides educators and parents with the knowledge of therapy robots and other technology-constructed play-based resources. These resources are designed to facilitate children’s social-emotional and communication development. It builds the capacity of early childhood educators and/or parents to integrate therapy robots as a tool for improving children’s social-emotional skills, such as listening to and following instructions, and communication during social interactions.

    The program is delivered through three 2.5-hour workshops, provided every fortnight during a single term (if online). If face-to-face delivery is required, the program can be offered over one day (7.5 hours). Following workshops, two 2-hour supervision support sessions will be delivered online. Participants are also provided with a therapy robot play-based teaching and learning framework and a strategy toolbox resource.

    Detailed Costs

    ​Three x 2.5-hour workshops, plus two x 2-hour online supervision support sessions: $1283 (excluding GST) per participant with a minimum of five participants, OR $6415 (excluding GST) per program delivery, with a maximum of 20 participants.

    Travel and accommodation costs may apply depending on location in Victoria.

    Implementation Considerations

    ​Target population: early childhood educators and/or parents. The program is also applicable for early childhood early intervention educators and special needs educators.

    Program adaptability: group training packages can be delivered face-to-face or via online platforms. The online program will be offered via an online platform such as Zoom, but depending on the number of participants, training materials can also be made available on Monash University’s secure online collaborative platform such as Moodle.

    Staffing: services should consider the cost of backfill when determining the cost of accessing this resource. 

    Factors to consider: there is a minimum requirement of five participants to take part in the program. The program can be provided after work hours between 5pm and 8.30pm weekdays or between 10am to 4pm on weekends.

    Supervision/Coaching: two 2-hours of support sessions through phone or Zoom will be provided to supervise teachers’ and/or parents’ progress when participants are implementing the activities in their own settings. Delivery times for supervision support sessions can be customized for each service.

    Australian experience: the program/training support is available in metropolitan, regional and rural areas.

    Tools and systems: the program requires the participants to have access to iPads and internet. Program materials and PowerPoints will be digitally made available on a secure google drive platform or sent via email.

    Priority Area

    Communication (language development), Wellbeing (social and emotional)

    Strength of Evidence

    ​Level 4 - Emerging research evidence