Professional Learning

Learn with specialists on teaching, practice & leadership.




Astute professional learning and development will ensure that when you invest in your people, the ones that stay will be the very best!

We often reflect upon a saying that is common in large organisations:
CFO to CEO: “What if we invest in our people and they leave?”
CEO to CFO: “What if we don’t invest in our people and they stay?”

Astute professional learning and development is designed for early years professionals to:
  • Learn new things and extend their knowledge,
  • Think critically about their practice and
  • Test new ideas and learning while at work.


Our professional learning and development is based on real world understandings of early childhood settings, is reflective of contemporary research and thinking and will easily translate to your work in real life.

We take a unique approach to adult learning based on the organisational learning and development framework of 70:20:10.

These principles work on:
  • Experience,
  • Exposure and
  • Education for individuals

Each and every one of our workshops is developed with your learning in mind.

This means that you won’t just turn up to one of our events tell us you loved the food, that the seats were too hard and it was great fun seeing old friends and meeting new ones. What will happen is that we will provide a complete learning experience for you that will change your practice over time.  Guaranteed.

Intrigued?  Find our events here.

Professional learning and development topics

What children learn, how they learn and when they learn is all critical in laying foundations for lifelong learning and preparations for moving to big school.

We will work with you to help you to understand the relevance between the Early Years Learning Framework and the Australian Curriculum.It’s important to make strong connections from these frameworks to your teaching with young children, within a play based approach.

Our professional learning and development will focus on the three core areas of:
  • Teaching and learning
  • Practice, and
  • Leadership

The topic headings you see below may have numerous sub topics or categories in each.  These may be delivered in one session or broken down into several different workshops click here for events.

Every topic will map back to:
  1. Early Years Learning Framework outcomes
  2. Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  3. National Quality Area and Standards

Please keep in mind that we are adding to this list all the time, so if want something that’s not here or you have a suggestion for us to consider, please contact us.

Teaching and learning


Teaching & learning (experiences for children)

When we create and deliver workshops about teaching and learning we are creating and delivering workshops that refer to, highlight and design exceptional and age appropriate learning experiences for children. What, how and when children learn are all critical components in laying a strong foundation for their future.

It’s important for teachers and educators to make strong connections between existing frameworks, theories of practice and real world knowledge of the children they support.

  • Language, literacy & communication
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) we do this the Little Scientists way
  • Dance, drama, music, visual arts, fine arts (The Arts)
  • Health & physical activity
  • Child development
  • Self regulation, caring for others & the world around us (Humanities and Social Science)
  • Thinking skills (cognition)





Practice refers to your craft and what you do as teachers and educators to ensure that the environment, the experiences and your knowledge of the child compliment each other for children’s learning. We focus on the what, when, why how & who of what you do.

Practice improvement benefits everyone – better outcomes for children and improved engagement in your craft.

Education program and practice
  • Curriculum decision making
  • Assessing children’s learning
  • Effective planning using the early years planning cycle
  • Critical reflection and reflective practice
  • Documenting children’s learning
  • Making learning visible
  • Intentional teaching
  • Understanding theorists and translating theories into practice
  • Child initiated learning
  • Transition to school


  • Embedding sustainable practices
  • Indoor environments
  • Nature play
  • Outdoor environments
  • Loose parts
  • Digital citizenship
  • The act of listening
  • Meaningful relationships with infants and toddlers
  • Equality versus equity
  • Diversity and bias
  • Guiding children’s behavior
  • Cultural inclusion


Meaningful moments
  • Transitions
  • Routines & rituals
  • Sleep, rest & relaxation
  • Personal care
  • Social meal times
  • Continuity of learning
  • Programs




Astute Early Years Specialists leadership workshops challenge participants to grow and push their long held beliefs. They are designed on real world early childhood settings, current research & the Australian early years context. Using a blended approach for delivery of these workshops means that anyone anywhere can join us and benefit.

Think personally, speak professionally.

Organisation and management
  • Creating a service philosophy
  • Creating a service vision
  • Time and task management
  • The ‘how to’ of writing and maintaining a QIP
  • Assessment and rating toolkit
  • Maintaining compliance
  • Continuity of care – building a roster for children and profit
  • Keeping records and keeping confidentiality
  • Writing policies and procedures that actually work in real life


Leading a team of people and connecting with others
  • Communicating with others
  • Managing people – good, great and poor performance
  • Community engagement and collaborative partnerships with others
  • Connecting with and for families
  • Effective team meetings
  • Guided learning circles
  • Complaints and grievances – it’s all about respect


Personal growth and development
  • What’s my leadership style and how do I influence others
  • Awareness, acceptance, action.
  • Continuous improvement – me too!
  • Through the looking glass – personal reflection for growth and development
  • Ethics – does it really matter or is it just a fancy word people use




Types of professional learning


Types of professional learning

Workshop – sound bite

A one and half to two hour workshop offered evenings after work.  It will keep you informed, knowledgeable and up to date on contemporary practice.

Workshop – half day

A three-hour workshop offered during work time and some weekends.  It will have you exploring your own thoughts and ideas while networking with others.

Workshop – full day

A six-hour workshop offered during work time or on weekends.  It will take participants out of their comfort zones, expect deep critical reflection on teaching and learning practice.

Coaching and mentoring

Our coaching is skills based and will challenge individuals to push themselves out of their comfort zone or change their thinking and our mentoring is relationship based where we act as a confidant and sounding board for personal and professional development and growth.  Put these together over time and magic happens.


An audience with an expert in their chosen field. If you want to know more, delve deeper and push your own boundaries and thinking on key topics for early childhood, then a masterclass will do it.


A full day conference agenda held in your region on a weekend. Keynotes, concurrent workshops and a whole lot of networking and fun.


A course designed to challenge mindsets, shift thinking and get action.  Usually delivered over weeks or months via a blended learning delivery mode.  Our programs registrations are by application only and spaces are limited so click here to register your interest and we will send you details of the next intake.

Study tours

A trip to faraway places with other like-minded people.  A little like a holiday but with a whole lot of learning, provocation and reflection thrown in.






Astute has been extremely professional and supportive towards our service. Mel has gone above and beyond and worked around the clock to support our team.  

Our service loves the EarlyEd Academy. It is user friendly and is developed to inspire and shape all services and their team, no matter what skill level we are all at. 

From the moment we met Mel from Astute, we felt comfortable with her warm and friendly presence. Mel is professional, takes pride in sharing her experiences and knowledge. We are lucky to have had the opportunity to work closely with Mel and her team.

Simply Sunshine Child Care

Astute, and Mel in particular, really helped me to get my head around my position as Educational Leader at my centre.  I had been in the role for a couple of years with no real direction or clear idea of what my job involved.  Mel worked with me and gave me clear guidelines and processes to put into place to effectively fulfil my role.  I am now an important part of our leadership team and am enjoying empowering the other teachers to consistently reflect on and improve their practice. 

Gena Smith Teacher and Educational Leader at Next Steps Kindy

“Astute,” which derives from the Latin noun astus, meaning “craft, suggests cleverness, mental sharpness, and diplomatic skill”

Every child you teach will teach you something new about yourself and your teaching style.

Teaching is not a skill one collects when you graduate and pick up your qualification; it’s so much more than formal qualifications.

It doesn’t matter what position you hold, what matters is how you hold that position.  That’s true leadership.