Oklahoma Expulsion Prevention Policy
On November 19, 2014 the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 was signed into law, which reauthorized CCDF. The new law makes changes that focus on various aspects of child care programs including the health and safety of children in child care, child care subsidy policy improvements, enhanced consumer education and increasing the overall quality of child care and out-of-school time programs to support children’s development and learning. Specific reference is made to children’s social-emotional and behavioral health and the need to retain children in child care programs for maximum learning opportunities and to support the child’s continuous development.
Recent data indicates (US Department of Education, 2014) that expulsion and suspensions occur at high rates in preschool settings. Suspending or expelling young children does not prepare them to succeed or enter school prepared to learn. A policy regarding the prevention of expulsion has been created to offer support to child care programs, teachers and parents to scaffold children’s social and emotional development growth and better equip children to succeed in all areas of development.
- Programs that foster positive climates can assist children in learning and developing by preventing problem behaviors and intervening when necessary.
- Programs with behavior and guidance policies that are clear, developmentally appropriate and consistently applied will help children improve interactions.
- Programs that provide professional development and technical assistance or coaching build teacher’s ability to implement behavior and guidance policies consistently.
Child Care Program Recommendations
- Develop and clearly communicate expulsion and suspension policies to families and to staff members. Written behavior policies should be provided to families before enrollment.
- Establish appropriate social-emotional and behavioral health promotion practices. Utilize prevention and discipline practices as learning opportunities to guide children’s behavior.
- Institute an early intervention and consultation process to identify children’s possible need for additional services or teacher professional development.
- Create program discipline procedure that provides specific guidance regarding the steps that teachers and programs will utilize when presented with challenging behaviors.
- Involve all program and teaching staff in professional development on
all domains of child development, appropriate expectations of young children and reducing challenging behaviors and intervention models.
- Consult community behavioral health resources regarding challenging behaviors. Ensure all families and program staff members are aware of resources available for families.
- Communicate children’s individual challenges and successes to the child’s family. Children should have access to comprehensive services and individual accommodations and supports.