SRF Program

  • Learn to Play Program

    VEYLDF Alignment

    Item uses these practice principles: High expectations for every child.

    Item responds to these sub-outcomes: Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes, Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media, Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work.


    Self-initiated play is regarded as a way for children to explore the world and learn about themselves. The assumption is that pretend play will help to improve multiple areas of child development, including language, self-regulation, social interactions and problem-solving. Two workshops are available:

    1. The Learn to Play Program for Kindergarten Teachers Workshop (two day online workshop, plus three x 1.5 hour Q&A follow-up sessions)

    The two day online workshop is designed to give educators a deeper understanding of pretend play, how it develops, and why pretend play is important for literacy, narrative understanding, social competence and self-regulation.

    This practical workshop will take educators through the Pretend Play Checklist for Teachers with case studies for practice. The Pretend Play Checklist for Teachers is a new assessment to assist educators to observe and report on the pretend play ability of children in their care. It provides a framework to assist educators identify targeted activities at kindergarten, information to pass onto parents, and specific observations of a child's play to inform report writing and transition reports.

    The three Q&A follow-up sessions (1.5hrs per session) are scheduled approximately three weeks from the date of the two day workshop. These sessions are designed to consolidate the information covered in the workshop, allowing for educators who have begun implementing the Learn to Play Program in their service to ask questions.

    The provider recommends workshop participants have a copy of the Pretend Play Checklist for Teachers (PPC-T) with them during the workshop. The PPC-T Manual provides information on the development of pretend play, how to score and how to interpret. The PPC-T Assessment Scoring Form is for the teacher to score each child’s play ability. 

    2. Play in Schools for Teachers and Therapists Workshop (one day online)

    This workshop covers why play is relevant to learning and the classroom, how to assess and report progress in play ability, how to link play ability to language and literacy, and how to embed play in the classroom to extend children's language and literacy.

    Participants will be taken through the Pretend Play Checklist for Teachers as a criterion referenced assessment for how to assess and report on a child's play ability. The Pretend Play Checklist for Teachers (PPC-T) MANUAL and PPC-T Assessment Scoring Form: Pack of 25 are covered in the cost of the workshop and will be posted out to participants prior to the workshop. This training will be supported by case studies.

    Detailed Costs

    The Learn to Play Program for Kindergarten Teachers Workshop: $860/person (incl. GST). Price includes two-day online workshop, plus three 1.5 hours Q&A follow-up sessions

    Play in Schools for Teachers and Therapists Workshop: $434/person (incl. GST) for the one-day online workshop.

    These workshops can also be delivered to organisations online and face to face (providing COVID-19 safety measures are maintained) at a time that suits them.

    Online/onsite face-to-face delivery of full workshops:

    • $2750 (incl. GST) per full day of training Monday – Friday,
    • $3300 (incl. GST) per full day of training Saturday – Sunday.

    A one-off Zoom administrator fee $77 (incl. GST) is additional to the online workshop cost. There is no minimum number of participants for online training. The maximum number of participants for online training is 25.

    Face to face workshops have additional travel costs including fuel and car expenses (at 72c/km, excl. GST), accommodation (approx. $230/night, incl. GST) and meal allowance ($66/day, excl. GST). Parking costs may also apply. There is no minimum number of participants for onsite workshops. The maximum number of participants for face-to-face training is 60. Contact the provider directly for details.

    Pretend Play Checklist for Teachers (PPC-T) MANUAL: $46 (incl. GST)

    Available for purchase:

    PPC-T Assessment Scoring Form: Pack of 25: $38 (incl. GST)

    Available for purchase:

    Implementation Considerations

    Target population: educators.

    Program/practice descriptions and details: the training is a combination of knowledge translation, practical case studies, practical group activities and discussion. It is based on adult learning principles, and updated each year to include new research and practical applications.

    Program adaptability: onsite or online training requested by an organisation is tailored to suit educators' needs.

    Staffing: once training is complete, Learn to Play can be delivered by early childhood educators and other professionals working with children. Services should consider the cost of backfill when determining the cost of accessing this program.

    Tools and systems: for onsite workshops educators are required to provide a venue and access to a data projector and speakers is required.

    Priority Area

    Communication, Wellbeing (social and emotional)

    Strength of Evidence

    Level 3 - Promising research evidence