BEGIN Program Policy 21.0


Policy 21.0


Problem Solving with Preschoolers

  1. Child developed rules
  2. Help children verbalize thoughts
  3. Model Sharing during activities
  4. Give children a voice in decision making when appropriate
  5. Read stories about resolving conflicts
  6. Deal with conflict in the moment
  7. Communicate with parents



Policy 21.1


  1. Each child must be provided with a positive model of acceptable behavior.
  2. Behavior guidance must be tailored to the developmental level of the children the school is licensed to serve.
  3. Staff member must redirect children and groups away from problem behavior in order to reduce conflict.
  4. Teach children how to use acceptable alternatives to problem solving
  5. Staff member must protect the safety of children and staff persons.
  6. Staff member must provide immediate and directly related consequences for a child’s unacceptable behavior


Below are strategies staff will use to respond to child misbehavior. Remember, however, that it’s always a good idea if rules are explained fully and clearly understood before misbehavior occurs. Whenever possible, involve children in making the rules for the classroom.

  1. Redirection

This strategy should be used most frequently when working with young children. If a child is not following the rules or being uncooperative, quickly get the child’s attention and introduce another activity. For example, “Kate, please help me water the flowers now. You’ve been riding the bike for a long time and it’s now Logan’s turn.”

  1. Logical consequences

These are structured consequences that follow specific misbehaviors. The child should be able to see how the behavior and the consequence are directly related. For example, Andrew is standing on his chair at lunch. His teacher should remind him that if he stands on his chair, he could fall and get hurt; this will make him sad.

  1. Participate in the solution

If a child damages something, he/she needs to help in fixing it or in cleaning up. If a child causes someone distress, he/she should help in relieving that. For example, “It made Brandon very sad when you told him he wasn’t your friend anymore. Please come apologize and help me make him feel better.”

  1. Natural consequences

Allowing children to experience the consequences of their behavior is also called learning the hard way. For example, Laura does not put her books back in her school bag after she finishes reading. One day she loses a book, and therefore must find a way to replace it. Only use natural consequences when they will not endanger the child’s health or safety.

  1. “Take a break”

In some instances, a child may need to be removed from a particular situation in which he/she has become overwhelmed or violent. The child should be directed to “take a break” or sit in the “calm down chair.” This strategy gives the child a chance to calm down, regain control, and reflect quietly on her or his behavior away from others. Once the child has calmed down, staff should talk with the child about the actions that led up to and resulted in needing a break or being sent to the calm down chair. For example, “Hannah, we have talked often about how hitting is not acceptable. But because you hit John, please leave the blocks center and go to the calm down chair. I will talk to you when you are ready.”





If these actions do not help in reducing or changing behavior the following will take place:

  1. Staff will report behavior and what strategies have been attempted to the Principal and/or Assistant Principal(s).
  2. The Principal and/or Assistant Principal will observe the child and meet with the Lead Teacher to develop a behavior management plan.
  3. The behavior management plan will be discussed will the parent and then put into practice.
  4. The Principal and/or Assistant Principal, Lead Teacher and Assistant Teachers, and parents will evaluate the behavior management plan. If needed, adjustments will be made.


Persistent unacceptable behavior requires an increased amount of staff guidance and time. The procedures for persistent unacceptable behavior require staff to:

  • Observe and record the behavior of the child and staff response to the behavior; and
  • Develop a plan to address the behavior documented in a consultation with the child’s parent, the child’s Lead Teacher, and the Principal. The plan will have a timeline for expected improvement on a case by case basis
  • Consider and/or recommend seeking other outside professional assistance when appropriate
  • If improvement is not made in the persistent unacceptable behavior then the plan will be presented to the Board of Principal’s for possible termination of care. This will be present by the Principal of the program


Prohibited actions that will lead to IMMEDIATE termination from BEGIN PROGRAM:

  • Subjection of a child to corporal punishment.  Corporal punishment includes, but is not limited to, rough handling, shoving, hair pulling, ear pulling, shaking, slappng, kicking, biting, pinching, hitting and spanking.
  • Subjection of a child to emotional abuse.  Emotional abuse includes, but is not limited to, name calling, ostracism, shaming, making derogatory remarks about the child or the child’s family and using language that threatens, humiliates or frightens the child.
  • Staff can never punish a child for lapses in toilet habits.
  • Staff can never withhold food, light, warmth, clothing or medical care as a punishment for unacceptable behavior.
  • Staff can never use physical restraint other than to physically hold a child when containment is necessary to protect a child or others from harm.  This can only be done by physically holding a child.
  • The use of mechanical restraints, such as tying


Separation from group, no child shall be separated from the group unless the Lead Teacher/Principal has tried less intrusive methods of guiding the child’s behavior and the behavior threatens the well being of the child or the other children in the Center.


A child who requires separation from the group must remain within an unenclosed part of the classroom where the child can be supervised by sight and sound.


When separation from the group is used as a behavior guidance technique, the child’s return to the group is contingent on the child stopping or bringing the behavior under control.  The child MUST be returned to the group as soon as the behavior that precipitated the separation abates or stops.


Do not use a minute for each year of the child’s age.  Each child has a different need and this is not the appropriate method to use.

Note: Children between the ages of six weeks and 16 months MUST NOT be separated from the group as a means of behavior guidance.


All separations must be documented and put in the child’s file. The report MUST include:

  • Child’s Name
  • Staff Person’s Name
  • Time
  • Date
  • Information indicating what less instructive methods were used to guide the child’s behavior
  • How the child’s behavior continued to threaten the well-being of the child or other children in care

If a child is separated from the group 3 or more times in one day, the child’s parents shall be notified and the parent notification indicated on the daily log.


If the child has been separated from the group 5 or more times in one week or 8 times or more in two weeks, then an individual behavior plan must be written and placed in his or her file. Proceed with guidelines for Persistent Unacceptable Behavior.









Policy 21.2


St. Mary’s School Begin Program recognizes that biting is a developmentally appropriate behavior for children in the infant through 2 ½ year old classrooms. Parents with children in these classrooms should expect that their children may be bit, or will bite another child. The staff understands that parents are concerned and can be upset when their child is involved in a biting incident. We ask that you remember this is a developmentally appropriate behavior, and that the staff is working to identify situations which, provoke, or elicit this behavior so it can be prevented in the future. The staff will not punish, or harshly discipline children in the younger classrooms for biting behavior; they will simply redirect the children to different activities in separate areas of the classroom. Parents are expected to work with staff to identify methods and strategies to curb this behavior.


Parents will be notified by incident/accident report that a biting incident occurred during the course of the day. The staff may not discuss with either parent the identity of the other child involved in the incident. This information is considered to be confidential and cannot be disclosed. The staff cannot discuss the medical history of any child involved in a biting incident with the other party. It is recommended that any child involved in a biting incident be seen by their family physician if the parents are concerned about communicable diseases possibly resulting from the biting incident.


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