Preventing Suspensions and Expulsions in Early Childhood Settings | An Administrator’s Guide to Supporting All Children’s Success


Purpose of The Guide:

Suspensions and expulsions of young children are not developmentally appropriate practices. Yet, recent data indicate that suspension and expulsion occur regularly in early childhood settings. These exclusionary practices, which disproportionately impact children of color, deprive children of valuable learning experiences and have a negative impact on children’s development that extends into grade school and beyond. Eliminating all forms of exclusion is urgent and vital to preparing all children for success. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Education (ED) have made this a key priority and issued a Joint Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension Policy in Early Childhood Settings.

The purpose of this guide is to provide relevant, specific recommended policies and practices that are actionable and address the underlying root causes and provide effective alternatives. The recommended policies and practices are based on the most important research for eliminating suspensions and expulsions in early childhood settings and were developed with guidance from a panel of national experts.

Using the interactive guide, program leaders can find resources on supporting social-emotional development, reducing challenging behavior, recognizing the role of cultural differences and implicit biases, and more.

The guide is intended for those most likely to make an impact and with a great need for resources: early education program leaders in center-based settings who implement policies and procedures and promote practices; however, anyone seeking to learn more about strategies for eliminating suspension and expulsion in early childhood settings can benefit from using the guide.

Get Started

The Introduction describes the contents of the guide and provides tips for how to get the most out of the guide. The guide can be read from start to finish, or the individual recommended policies and practices can stand alone. We recognize that implementing all recommended policies and practices may be overwhelming and that programmatic changes often need to occur in stages.

To help you prioritize what recommended policies and practices are most necessary and timely to implement in your program, we have developed a self-assessment. The self-assessment is an optional tool that includes a brief questionnaire to help you reflect on your program’s policies, practices, and needs. The results of the self-assessment will help you reflect on your strengths and needs and provide you a roadmap to navigating the guide.

Source: SRI Education’s Center for Learning and Development

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Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities; Preschool Grants for Children With Disabilities; Final Rule


The Secretary amends the regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) governing the Assistance to States for the Education of Children with Disabilities program and the Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities program. With the goal of promoting equity under IDEA, the regulations will establish a standard methodology States must use to determine whether significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity is occurring in the State and in its local educational agencies (LEAs); clarify that States must address significant disproportionality in the incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions, using the same statutory remedies required to address significant disproportionality in the identification and placement of children with disabilities; clarify requirements for the review and revision of policies, practices, and procedures when significant disproportionality is found; and require that LEAs identify and address the factors contributing to significant disproportionality as part of comprehensive coordinated early intervening services (comprehensive CEIS) and allow these services for children from age 3 through grade 12, with and without disabilities.

Source: Federal Register, Volume 81 Issue 243

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#RethinkDiscipline in Early Childhood Settings


Assistant Secretary Michael Yudin convenes national experts for a discussion about the use of suspensions and expulsions in early childhood settings, and local efforts to end the use of exclusionary discipline for young children. Yudin will be joined by:

Walter Gilliam – Director of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy

Beth Mascitti-Miller – Chief to Office of Early Childhood Education, Chicago Public Schools

Myra Jones-Taylor – Commissioner of Early Childhood, State of Connecticut

Alison Pepper – Consultant for faith-based and secular early childhood education programs

Source: US Department of Education

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Live Rebroadcast: Teachers Choice! Digging Deeper into Challenging Behaviors, Part 2

Monday, July 14, 2014

3–4 p.m. EDT

The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning NCQTL is pleased to present a live rebroadcast of Teachers Choice! Digging into Challenging Behaviors, Part 2. It is part of the Teacher Time series of webinars for Head Start teachers. For those new to Teacher Time, it is an opportunity to hear directly from early childhood education experts on topics unique to the joys and challenges that teachers face every day.

Live rebroadcasts are previously recorded webinars that include a live discussion. You will be able to ask questions and interact via a chat box with the hosts, Kristin Ainslie and Dawn Williams. You also will receive a certificate of attendance if you complete an evaluation about your experience with the rebroadcast.

When given a choice of topics, our teaching audience chose challenging behaviors. Join NCQTL on Monday, July 14 at 3 p.m. EDT for our second live rebroadcast. In Part 1, we focused on understanding challenging behaviors. In Part 2, Dr. Gail Joseph shares more ways you can help children replace their old challenging behaviors with new skills and behaviors.

Dr. Joseph is an associate professor and director of Early Childhood and Families Studies at the University of Washington, and co-director of NCQTL. She has had experience as a Head Start teacher, teacher trainer, and mental health specialist. Dr. Joseph is a national consultant in promoting evidence-based social-emotional practices with young children.

Topics for the webinar include:

  • Prevention strategies—How to make events and interactions that trigger challenging behavior easier for the child to manage, and how to put your focus on prevention
  • Replacement skills—How to teach new skills children can use to replace their old challenging behaviors
  • Responses—How to change our response when challenging behavior occurs so the childs behavior is not maintained or continued and new skills can be learned

Here are a few resources to help us dig deeper into preventing challenging behaviors:

Who Should Watch?

While anyone is welcome to participate in these webinars, they are specifically designed to meet the unique demands of Head Start teachers.

Viewing the Webinar

There is no need to pre-register. On the day of the webinar, select this link to join:

To review system requirements and for troubleshooting information, visit:

Stay Connected with #NCQTL

During and after the presentation, we encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences on Twitter! Include #NCQTL in your tweets to participate in the chat. If you dont have a Twitter account, you can still follow the conversation at

We Want to Hear from You!

After each webinar, please share examples of your classroom photos, lesson plans, or samples of activities. Please dont include children or adults in the photos, for confidentiality reasons. We have a small token of appreciation for those who send examples to


You may send your questions to or call toll-free 1-877-731-0764. Sign up to receive information and resources about quality teaching and learning.


Implementing Policies to Reduce the Likelihood of Preschool Expulsion


By Walter S. Gilliam

Behavior problems during the preschool years are meaningful predictors of continued behavior problems, poor peer standing, and academic difficulties during Kindergarten.1,2 Fortunately, high-quality early education and intervention programs may prevent severe behavior problems in young children from low-income communities and families.3,4 Yet some preschoolers may begin their early education programs with severe behavioral problems already present, potentially limiting their ability to participate fully and benefit from the early educational experience.5

This policy brief examines factors associated with expulsion from Prekindergarten (PK). Recent research has explored issues regarding the rate at which preschoolers (children ages three to four) are expelled from PK programs, as well as some of the factors associated with expulsion and the effectiveness of mental health consultation to reduce the classroom behavior problems that may lead to expulsion. Although several factors that predict an increased likelihood of expulsion have been described, this brief addresses those factors that may inform changes in policy that can be both implemented and regulated.

Source: Foundation for Child Development

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Understanding and Responding to Children Who Bite | NAEYC For Families


Biting is a typical behavior often seen in infants, toddlers, and 2-year olds. As children mature, gain self-control, and develop problem-solving skills, they usually outgrow this behavior. While not uncommon, biting can be an upsetting and potentially harmful behavior. It’s best to discourage it from the very first episode. This article will help you to understand the reasons young children bite and give you some ideas and strategies for responding appropriately.

Source: NAEYC

Available at: