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The reason for an early years protective behaviours curriculum

Protective behaviours curriculum is a program designed to teach children to recognize and report abuse and to stay safe in situations where they may be vulnerable. It is important to teach children these skills early on, as they are often the most vulnerable to abuse and neglect. The Protective Behaviours curriculum is used in Western Australian classrooms as part of the state’s comprehensive child protection strategy.

The Protective Behaviours program was first developed in Western Australia in the 1980s and has since been implemented across the country. It is designed for children from kindergarten to year six, with age-appropriate lessons and activities. The program is based on two core messages: 'we all have the right to feel safe all the time' and 'nothing is so awful we can't talk about it with someone'.

The Protective Behaviours program is essential in early

years classrooms as it promotes a culture of safety and helps children to develop the skills they need to stay safe. Research has shown that children who receive Protective Behaviours education are more likely to disclose abuse and are more aware of their rights and responsibilities in relation to their own safety.

In Western Australian classrooms, the Protective Behaviours

curriculum is integrated into the Health and Physical Education (HPE) learning area. It is a mandatory part of the state’s curriculum and is taught from kindergarten to year six. Teachers receive training on how to deliver the program effectively and are supported by a range of resources, including lesson plans and activities.

In conclusion, the Protective Behaviours curriculum is an important part of early years classrooms in Western Australia. It promotes a culture of safety and helps children to develop the skills they need to stay safe. It is an essential part of the state’s comprehensive child protection strategy, and its effectiveness has been well documented. By providing children with the knowledge and skills to recognise and report abuse, the Protective Behaviours program plays a critical role in keeping children safe.


  1. Child Protection Education of America (CPEA). (2021). Protective Behaviours Education: About the program. Retrieved from

  2. Department of Education Western Australia. (2016). Health and Physical Education: Protective Behaviours. Retrieved from

  3. Walby, K., & McKendrick, J. (2018). Protective Behaviours Education: A Systematic Review. Child Abuse Review, 27(1), 50-62. doi: 10.1002/car.2487.

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