Staff is prohibited from using any type of physical disciple (spanking, etc.) The program uses positive discipline, which teaches children what they can do rather than what they cannot do. When positive discipline techniques are used in the classroom, children learn what they can do within the limits of the classroom. As children grow, the continued use of positive disciple techniques helps children learn to manage their own behavior. Consistency is the key to positive and successful discipline and the goal is for each child to obtain important problem solving skills that will lead to independent problem solving and self-control.
The consistent use of the following discipline techniques will help children learn what to expect and what they can do
- Clear and positive classroom rules explained to children
- Choices offered
- Logical consequence used. For example, “Sand is for digging and building. You were throwing sand in the faces of your friends, so you will need to get out of the sandbox and find another place on the playground to play.”
- Contingencies (when, then statements) used. For example, “When you pick up the blocks, then you can go to the play dough table.” When you zip up your coat, then you can go outside.”
Head Start will use consistent behavior guidance and will not exclude a child from program participation unless that child demonstrates an inability to benefit from the services offered by the program due to behavior concern. If such occurs, we will work with the child, family, and community mental health professionals if necessary, to provide alternative services. A child’s enrollment in the program may also be terminated because of continual or extreme violation of the parent responsibilities listed in this Family Handbook.
If behavior concerns are identified during daily behavior guidance practices:
1. Child’s disruptive behavior will be documented and maintained in confidence.
2. Parent/guardian will be notified verbally, and may also be given written copies of the incident reports for
challenging behaviors that might lead to exclusion.
3. Parent/guardian will be given literature or other resources regarding methods of improving behavior
4. Staff will use a variety of strategies to support child in improving behavior, with the goal of preventing
- Try to redirect child from negative behavior.
- Reassess classroom environment, supervision, and appropriateness of activities.
- Always use positive methods and language while disciplining children.
- Praise appropriate behaviors.
- Consistently apply consequences for rules.
- Give verbal reminders.
The Education/Disabilities Supervisor, teaching team, parent/guardian, and possibly other support within our
program will have a conference to discuss how to promote positive behaviors. Prior to any decision to exclude
a child from the Head Start program, the child’s teacher will hold a meeting with the child’s parent(s) to discuss
the issue(s) and obtain permission to have the mental health professional further assess the child/issue. The
Family Support Specialist will be made aware of the process and involved as needed. Designated staff, such as
teachers and the mental health professional will be responsible for executing an “Action Plan” (implementing
positive discipline methods, evaluating outcomes, making modifications, and communicating with parents.)
The procedure below meets our state Child Care Licensing office requirement for a “discharge” policy*.
*Child Care Center Rules: 47 IAC 3-4.7-17 Admission, discharge, arrival, and departure policies
Child actions that may require exclusion due to behavior concerns include the following:
- Failure of child to adjust after a reasonable amount of time and multiple attempts using different strategies.
- Uncontrollable tantrums/angry outbursts.
- Ongoing physical or verbal abuse to staff or other children.
- Excessive biting.
Parental actions that may require exclusion of the child for behavior and health concerns include the following:
- Failure to complete required forms or health information including the child’s immunization records.
- Failure to cooperate with areas of Action Plan
- Violations of the attendance policy.
- Physical or verbal abuse to staff.