Unit of competency details

CHCFC505A - Foster cognitive development in early childhood (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by CHCECE017 - Foster the holistic development and wellbeing of the child in early childhoodThis version was released in CHC Community Services Training Package release 1.0 and meets the requirements of the New Standards for Training Packages. Combination of content from units CHCFC502A, CHCFC503A, CHCFC504A, CHCFC505A and CHCFC506A. Significant changes to elements and performance criteria.New evidence requirements for assessment, including volume and frequency requirements. 30/Jun/2013
Supersedes CHCFC5C - Foster and enhance children's cognitive and language developmentMajor change to competency outcome with focus on cognitive development specific to early childhood 24/Mar/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 25/Mar/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 070101 Teacher Education: Early Childhood  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 070101 Teacher Education: Early Childhood  02/Feb/2009 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor


This unit describes the knowledge and skills required to foster and enhance cognitive development of children

Application of the Unit


The skills and knowledge within this unit applies to workers engaged in a range child care contexts supporting the children's development

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Assist children to develop thinking and problem solving skills

1.1 Provide varied and appropriately challenging opportunities  and resources related to each child's stage of development and interests

1.2 Provide opportunities for children to experience the consequences of their choices, actions and ideas

1.3 Encourage children to explore, understand and solve problems in their environment

1.4 Use a variety of strategies to maintain children's interest in solving problems

1.5 Provide challenging and engaging experiences for each child to develop their attention span and give them time to stay with the activity until they are ready to move on

1.6 Introduce new ideas/activities that may build on existing knowledge, skills and interests

1.7 Use questioning and non-verbal communication to develop children's abilities to observe what is happening around them

1.8 Identify and monitor children's cognitive development and thinking skills 

2. Promote opportunities for a wide range of developmentally appropriate experiences in science mathematics technology and the environment

2.1 Present a range of developmentally appropriate experiences in science, maths and technology

2.2 Present a range of experiences to stimulate learning about the environment

2.3 Recognise children's abilities and respond to their interests and learning potential

2.4 Encourage participation in science, maths, technology and environmental learning experiences in a way that is enjoyable

2.5 Present experiences that stimulate children's curiosity and learning

2.6 Provide opportunities for children to further explore their concept development

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge :

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include knowledge of:

  • Stages of cognitive development
  • Peer group interactions
  • Child's family and community context and influences
  • Organisation standards, policies and procedures
  • Planning processes and understanding of adults role in experiences
  • Sensory perceptual development and brain development
  • Theories of brain and language development, which may include but are not limited to: Piaget, Vygotsky and Gardner
  • Social constructivist learning theory
  • Interrelationship between cognitive, creative and language development
  • Importance of dispositions impacting on lifelong learning
  • Awareness of the following national child health and well being core competencies as they apply to all who deliver care to children:
  • core principles of child development and the key developmental tasks faced by young children and their implications for practice
  • cumulative effects of multiple risk and protective factors and the developmental implications of the balance between them
  • environmental conditions and the experiences known to have positive effects on prenatal and early childhood
  • environmental conditions and experiences known to have adverse effects on prenatal and early childhood development
  • factors that support or undermine the capacity of families to rear young children adequately
  • features of a family's immediate social environment that are important for family functioning and young children's development and well being
  • features and qualities of communities that help or hinder families in their capacity to raise young children adequately
  • core needs that all children and families have in common, and how to provide inclusive child and family services
  • understanding of particular backgrounds, experiences and needs of children and families in exceptional circumstances or with additional needs

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Encourage children in thinking and problem solving experiences with consideration for each child's culture, stage of development and interests

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to:

  • Demonstrate application of skills in:
  • planning open ended experiences to promote children's enquiry and mathematical thinking
  • problem solving processes and tools or strategies to facilitate children's problem solving
  • use open ended questions to encourage children to predict, hypothesise, explain, reason and express their ideas and opinions
  • creative use of inexpensive resources to stimulate children's interest and curiosity
  • modelling strategies, suggesting next steps and highlighting aspects the children may have overlooked
  • supporting and encouraging children's unconventional and innovative use of materials
  • use the environment to stimulate children's curiosity
  • arrange experiences that stimulate children to explore and discuss diverse objects, people and places
  • Apply the following skills identified as underpinning national child health and well being core competencies, where they are applicable to the work role:
  • implement effective evidence-based service delivery
  • coordinate service delivery to families with an interdisciplinary teamwork approach and where possible collaborative interagency practice
  • support infants and toddlers to master key developmental tasks
  • early identification of emerging trends in child needs and how to address them
  • manage children's health needs, eating behaviours and physical activity
  • provide environments and relationships that are safe for young people
  • engage and work with parents/carers and families

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency :

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • This unit is best assessed in the workplace or in a realistic simulated workplace setting under the normal range of workplace conditions, for a range of age groups and over a number of assessment situations

Access and equity considerations :

  • All workers in community services should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work
  • All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment
  • In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment :

  • This unit can be assessed independently, however holistic assessment practice with other community services units of competency is encouraged
  • Resource requirements for assessment include access to a range of opportunities defined in the Range Statement, including:
  • a childcare workplace
  • children's services, resources and equipment
  • the local environment

Method of assessment :

  • In cases where the learner does not have the opportunity to cover all relevant aspects in the work environment, the remainder should be assessed through realistic simulations, projects, previous relevant experience or oral questioning on 'What if?' scenarios
  • Assessment of this unit of competence will usually include observation of processes and procedures, oral and/or written questioning on Essential knowledge and skills and consideration of required attitudes
  • Where performance is not directly observed and/or is required to be demonstrated over a 'period of time' and/or in a 'number of locations', any evidence should be authenticated by colleagues, supervisors, clients or other appropriate persons

Related units :

This unit may be (but is not required to be) assessed in conjunction with related unit:

  • CHCFC506A Foster children's language and communication development

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Thinking skills may include :

  • Reasoning
  • Developing understanding and explanations
  • Critical thinking
  • Use of mathematical concepts
  • Problem solving
  • Inventing, discovering and planning

Opportunities for children to develop cognitively will vary according to the child's age /abilities and must include :

For babies and infants :

  • Responses of caregivers are prompt and consistent
  • Routines to provide sensory experiences are used
  • Toys that stimulate all the senses are available for touching, looking, listening, smelling and tasting
  • Opportunities to perceive similarities and differences are provided

For toddlers :

  • Equipment is provided to explore the concepts of size, shape, number, volume, weight, temperature, time and all senses
  • Songs, rhymes and stories are provided to aid in the development of memory
  • There are opportunities to help with household duties and explore built and natural environment

For 3 to 5 year old children :

  • Time is allowed for children to explore
  • Opportunities are provided to interact with real people and objects to gain an understanding of themselves, others and the world around them
  • A variety of materials and resources is provided
  • Children are alerted to aspects of the environment they may have overlooked
  • Children's reasoning is responded to respectfully

Understandings may include :

  • Mathematical understanding
  • Scientific principles
  • Social understandings
  • Geographical awareness
  • Historical understanding
  • Mechanical understanding
  • Potential of computers

Opportunities to develop problem solving skills vary according to age of the child :

For babies and infants :

  • Opportunities to explore cause and effect are provided

For toddlers :

  • Equipment such as spades, spoons, buckets and baskets are provided to explore the environment

For 3 to 5 year olds :

  • Time is made available for children to investigate a topic that interests them, for example, how a syphon works

Opportunities to explore their environment will vary according to age of the child :

For babies and infants :

  • Observation and exploration

For toddlers :

  • Introduce them to natural materials from local environment
  • Introduce them to a range of people in community

For 3 to 5 year olds :

  • Exploration of local environment through visitors, excursion, bringing experiences to children

Opportunities to explore their local environment directly will differ according to a range of factors such as :

  • Distance, proximity of new experience
  • Risks and hazards
  • Time available

Opportunities to extend children's knowledge of the world may include :

  • Excursions/incursions
  • Visits
  • Maps, posters, music, books etc.
  • Walks in the local area
  • Visitors
  • Community resources

The world /environment may include :

  • The natural environment
  • The social world
  • The cultural environment
  • The world of ideas
  • Human made environment

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable