Research tells us quality early childhood programs that nurture positive learning and social–emotional development have positive effects on the lives of young children and families. The success of young children in child care settings is closely tied to their social, emotional, and behavioral development.
National data shows a troubling number of children are being expelled from programs. Not only are the practices of suspension and expulsion linked with long-term negative outcomes, it also represents a missed opportunity to identify and address the needs of a high-risk group of children.
The newly revised NH Child Care Licensing Rules (see pages 81-82) includes language specific to preventing the expulsion of children from child care due to challenging behaviors.
What is expulsion?
The complete and permanent removal of a child from an educational system, e.g., child care center (Gilliam & Shahar, 2006). Terminating the enrollment of a child or family in the regular group setting because of a challenging behavior or a health condition (Caring for Our Children; National Health and Safety Performance Standards Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd edition).
What is suspension?
Reduction in the amount of time a child may be in attendance of the regular group setting, either by requiring the child to cease attendance for a particular period of time or reducing the number of days or amount of time that a child may attend. Requiring a child to attend the program in a special place away from the other children in the regular group setting is included in this definition (Caring for Our Children; National Health and Safety Performance Standards Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, 3rd edition).
What are challenging behaviors?
Any behavior that makes it difficult for a young child to be successful in a group environment. Such behaviors interfere with a child’s ability to positively interact with others and may disrupt the learning process or even pose health and/or safety risks. Such behaviors often frustrate adults because the behaviors do not respond to typical behavior intervention strategies (Izen and Kalinowski, 2010). Any repeated pattern of behavior that interferes with or is at risk of interfering with optimal learning or engagement in prosocial interactions with peers and adults (Powell, Fixsen, Smith, & Fox, 2007).
Resources to learn more about what expulsion is and why it’s important to prevent:
- Preventing Suspensions and Expulsions in Early Childhood Settings: A Program Leader’s Guide to Supporting ALL Children’s Success
- Understanding and Eliminating Expulsion in Early Childhood Programs
For support on writing your expulsion prevention policy contact CCAoNH for Technical Assistance
- Call: 1-855-393-1731 or (603) 578-1386 ext. 32
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Access additional support through the Preschool Technical Assistance Network (PTAN).
- The goal of the PTAN Child Care Inclusion Project is to support child care providers so that they can successfully include children who have challenging behaviors and/or other special needs thus reducing the need to suspend or expel a child and family from their child care program. Skilled and knowledgeable PTAN consultants provide telephone and onsite consultation depending upon the intensity of need.