Foster the development of infants and toddlers in an aquatic environment

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to use activities, toys and games to foster the motor, cognitive and personal development of infants and toddlers in an aquatic environment.


This unit applies to those conducting learn-to-swim and water safety classes in swimming pools and confined natural shallow water venues.



Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a Unit of Competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the Required Skills and Knowledge section and the Range Statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

1. Create opportunities for infants and toddlers to develop a wide range of aquatic skills.

1.1. Identify the characteristics of the participant group.

1.2. Determine appropriate activities or games for the participant group.

1.3. Allocate sufficient space and assemble resources for the activities or games according to relevant legislation, organisational policies and procedures, conditions and external influences.

2. Promote motor development.

2.1. Select aquatic experiences that encourage participant groups to practise fine and gross motor skills.

2.2. Provide aquatic experiences to foster motor development according to requirements of participant group.

2.3. Arrange aquatic equipment and toys to provide challenge, choice and encourage independence.

3. Promote cognitive development.

3.1. Select opportunities and resources which are varied and relevant to the participant's stage of cognitive development.

3.2. Provide challenges to the participants to extend their thinking.

3.3. Provide opportunities to make limited choices and see or experience the consequences of choices.

3.4. Provide participants with experiences to develop their attention span.

3.5. Introduce new ideas or activities that may build on existing knowledge, skills and interests.

3.6. Develop participants' abilities to observe what is happening around them through questioning and non-verbal communication.

4. Facilitate participants' personal development.

4.1. Identify participants' temperament and personality characteristics.

4.2. Encourage caregivers to become actively involved in introducing new aquatic experiences to participants according to organisational policies and procedures and relevant legislation.

4.3. Provide opportunities for infants and toddlers to separate from caregivers.

4.4. Provide positive guidance towards socially acceptable behaviour.

5. Review the activities.

5.1. Respond to participant and caregiver concerns, feedback and questions as required, according to best practice principles of aquatic activities.

5.2. Monitor time and complete activities and games according to organisational policies and procedures.

5.3. Identify aspects needing further emphasis, attention or intervention in future sessions.

5.4. Review own performance and identify areasneeding improvement and appropriate strategies as required.

Required Skills

Required skills

communication skills to:

provide clear instruction to infants, toddlers and their caregivers

request and respond to questions and feedback

problem-solving skills to select activities, games and resources appropriate to the participants and the facility

planning and organisational skills to manage participant group and available time

cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques to enable initial response to emergencies.

Required knowledge

legislation and organisational policies and procedures to ensure the safety of clients, other facility users and staff

best practice principles of aquatic activities to respond to concerns, feedback and questions

motor, cognitive and personal development stages of infants and toddlers

aquatic activities and games to facilitate motor, cognitive and personal development in infants and toddlers

use and care of equipment

cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques to enable initial response to emergencies.

Evidence Required

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

Overview of assessment

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

Evidence of the following is essential:

manages the involvement and participation of infants, toddlers and caregivers in activities that promote motor and cognitive development

encourages and responds to feedback to review own performance and develops strategies to address performance and modify practice as appropriate

applies organisational policies and procedures and relevant legislation to ensure safety of participants, caregivers and other facility users as appropriate.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

facilitation of multiple aquatic sessions according to the needs of infants and toddlers and the accepted best practice principles of aquatic activities

access to a swimming pool or confined natural shallow water venue

access to suitable resources for infant and toddler aquatic activities

access to appropriate clients and their care givers

access to safety equipment relevant to local regulatory and organisational requirements.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

observation of the candidate interacting with infants and toddlers and their caregivers to provide safe and appropriate aquatic activities

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of the application of organisational and legislative requirements

third-party reports from a supervisor detailing performance.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

SISCCRO302A Apply legal and ethical instructional skills.

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. Bold italicised wording, if used in the Performance Criteria, is detailed below. 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) may also be included.

Characteristics of the participant group may include:

0 - 6 months

infants 7 - 24 months

toddlers 25 - 42 months

pre-schoolers 43 - 60 months.

Resources may include:

aquatic equipment and toys

first aid facilities and equipment

pool safety equipment

ratio of instructors or equipment to participants.

Relevant legislation may include:

occupational health and safety

duty of care

working with children.

Organisational policies and procedures may include:

occupational health and safety

communication protocols

AUSTSWIM Limited Swimming Teachers Code of Conduct policy

swimwear and personal protective equipment

consideration of other facility users.

Conditions and external influences may include:

environmental conditions

other facility users



other instructors.

Motor development may include:

reflexive movements

disorganised and unstable movements

control of breathing, coughing and swallowing

organised and voluntary movement

coordinated movements with buoyancy, head and breath control.

Cognitive development may include:

attention to details

classification of information


imagination and conceptual development

problem-solving skills

language acquisition.

Temperament and personality characteristics include:

the easy child

the slow-to-warm-up child

the difficult child.

Best practice principles of aquatic activities may include:

accepted preventative practice adopted throughout the aquatic industry to minimise safety hazards or risks

AUSTSWIM Limited Swimming Teachers Code of Conduct policies

the culture of swimming and water safety.

Areas needing improvement may include:


selection of appropriate aquatic experiences

group control techniques.


Community Recreation

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.