JUST RIGHT CHILD CARE (JRCC)
Behaviour Guidance Policy:
JRCC will follow the guidelines outlined in the Behaviour Guidance Policy. The following policies are designed to help each child develop self-control and self-confidence so that he/she will have the ability to act appropriately in given situations.
Behaviour guidance techniques used by teachers at JRCC include:
JRCC recognizes that a well-planned program with interesting activities helps prevent most inappropriate behaviors. We structure our programs with a variety of developmentally appropriate and interesting activities that encourage children to participate with acceptable behaviors. Under certain circumstances the staff may use physical contact to guide behavior in such instances as holding a child who is in danger of injuring self or others. When a child’s inappropriate Behaviour becomes a concern, teachers and parent/guardian will meet to determine a consistent Behaviour Management Plan for use at home and at the centre.
An important goal of quality child care environments is helping children learn self-discipline and self-control. For children, the road to developing self-discipline and self-control begins with the development of self-confidence, trust and independence. A well planned and developmentally appropriate program as well as a patient and tolerant caregiver who understand children and their development are important in reaching this goal. By guiding children’s behavior, rather than punishing their inappropriate actions, we can facilitate the development of essential conflict resolution skills. When deciding upon behavior guidance strategies, we consider our expectations for children, our room environment, our programming ideas and our classroom schedule.
A) The Teachers Expectations for Children
By nature, children differ from each other in activity level, personality and level of development. It is this difference which helps shape them into unique and interesting human beings and it is also this difference which at times makes it challenging for them to participate in group care. As teachers of young children, we must both respect and expect these differences and design our curriculum around them. We recognize that growing and learning means making mistakes and that difficulties are a normal and expected part of children’s development.
B) Environment and Materials
The way in which environment is designed and utilized can encourage or discourage desired behavior in children. The environment is divided into specifically designated areas or centers and consideration is given to types of play which will occur in the areas. Noisy and messy areas are available and kept away from the quieter areas. Plenty of space is allocated for all areas, especially ones which lend themselves to socialization and movement such as block area and house area. Teachers consider the traffic flow in the classroom and design the environment to work with the flow to minimize accidents. Teachers avoid placing areas in the middle of the room and in front of doors where children can bump into others’ creations. Teachers ensure that toys and materials are in good supply, are in good repair and are age-appropriate. Teachers maximize the number of materials which are open-ended and can be used in a variety of ways. These materials will not only support creativity and problem solving skills of the children in the programs, they will also minimize frustration and discipline issues.
C) Programming Focus
Programming activities are planned ahead of time with the children’s interests and levels of development in mind. Teachers keep in mind that children need to be actively involved in the learning process; they need to exercise their bodies and their senses as well as their minds. The teachers programming does not involve a lot of sitting and listening by the children, instead there are many opportunities for meaningful engagement. Outside activity allows children opportunities to channel energies constructively.
There is a well-planned and consistent schedule which provides children with the opportunities to develop trust, security and control. Although the schedule is flexible, the teachers make sure we do not deviate from it consistently and if this happens, the teachers will share that information with the children so they can re-organize their expectations. The teachers ensure that the schedule reflects a good balance of active and quiet activities, and indoor and outdoor play. Also, the teachers are sensitive to the fact that children will react to teacher changes. When there are substitutes, the teachers try to minimize it by maintaining consistency in as many other aspects of center life as possible.
1. Establish clear, consistent and simple limits and provides explanations for limits.
Limits are statements of what behavior is expected of the children in the classroom. Teachers ensure that limits are clearly stated within the child’s ability to understand, that they are consistently enforced by all adults, including substitutes, and tell the children why they should follow the limit. When children understand the reasons for limits, they are more likely to comply. Limits are related to the safety, protection and rights of self, others and the environment.
2. State limits in a positive way and periodically remind children.
The teachers vocalize to children what to do, rather than what not to do. The teachers also, remind them every once in a while, what is acceptable and what is not.
3. Provide opportunities for children to make choices throughout the day.
Children naturally require opportunities to exercise their decision-making skills. It is essential to provide times throughout the day for children to make choices. The teachers let them decide what area to play in during free time, allow them opportunities to decide on some songs they can sing during circle time or where to put the eyes on the mask they are making. Decision making is not only a valuable skill to learn, it also reinforces child control and minimizes frustration.
4. Focus on the behaviour, not on the child.
In a discipline situation, focusing on the child’s character tends to produce feelings of guilt and shame for the child and ultimately lowers self-esteem. On the other hand, focusing on the behavior preserves the child’s dignity as well as provides information for correcting the behavior. The Teachers focus on the behaviour that is being demonstrated.
5. Ignore minor incidents.
The teachers have realistic expectations for what a child care environment will be like. The teachers have a tolerance for a certain amount of noise, clutter and attention-seeking behavior. As long as children’s behaviors are not compromising their safety, the safety and rights of others, and the safety of the environment, it may be best not to intervene.
6. Prepare children for transitions.
Moving from one activity to the next is difficult for children. The teachers make sure we give them plenty of warning prior to the end of one activity and the start of another. Try to punctuate the end of an activity with concrete measures of time. “When the bell rings, it will be time to tidy up”. We also help the children feel excited about the next activity by talking about it. “After snack time, we will have circle time and we are going to sing and dance together”.
7. Model and encourage appropriate behavior.
Children learn a lot by watching what is going on around them if we want children to exhibit pro-social behavior, the teachers strive to model it in the classroom. When children do exhibit behaviors which are appropriate, the teachers encourage them by telling them how their positive behaviors affect others around them.
8. Interact with children.
Interacting with children during their day, especially during free play time, both indoors and outdoors, is a very effective proactive behavior guidance strategy. By being available through non-threatening play situations, the teachers both model appropriate behavior as well as diffuse potentially difficult conflict situations.
1. Physical closeness and touch
Adults can often help put children back on the track to appropriate behavior or help them regain self-control by physically getting closer to them, by gently touching them or by holding them on their lap. The teachers use these strategies if appropriate.
2. Remind and redirect if necessary
Reminding children of the classroom rules is an effective intervention strategy, especially when the rules being broken are not putting anyone in danger. When behavior is putting someone in danger, a teacher may need to both remind and redirect. For example, if a child who is throwing sand at other children, he may need to be reminded that sands stays in the sand box, because throwing it will hurt other children and will be directed to doing other things with the sand. This redirection may include choices as the child is encouraged to think of other ways to use the sand, or if the child is having difficulty coming up with alternatives, the teacher can provide several to choose from. Removal will be the last resort.
3. Get child’s attention
When a teacher has to intervene in a discipline situation, which is not causing immediate danger to anyone involved, the teacher will approach in a respectful way. Teachers do not shout at the child from across the room. Teacher walk over, get down to the child’s level, establish eye contact and use a calm, controlled voice tone. A calm, controlled voice tone and non-threatening body language can assist in diffusing a discipline situation rather than escalating it.
4. Acknowledge Feelings
When dealing with a behavior guidance issue, teachers make sure that we acknowledge the feelings of the child and/or children involved in the situation prior to setting limits. When there are several children involved, the teachers address all of them.
5. Assist children in problem-solving the situation
Once a teacher has acknowledged feelings, he/she may begin the process of helping the children find solutions.
6. Removal of a Privilege
In extreme situations, when all other strategies have proven ineffective, it may be necessary to limit or remove materials or equipment or to remove the child from a particular situation. If a teacher has to remove or limit materials or equipment, he/she make sure that it is after the children have been reminded and the consequences of removal were clearly identifie
Helpful Hints for Teachers
• Keep our own emotions under control
• Maintain calmness in our own voice tone and body language
• Don’t be judgmental of children
• Get to know children’s family and communicate behavior issues
• Don’t demand that children apologize
• Avoid sounding moralistic
• Avoid using abstract, subjective terms like “play nicely”. Be clear and describe behaviors
• Don’t hold a grudge
• If we feel our own level of frustration rising, ask for a break or have a colleague take over
Specialized Individual Behavioral Interventions
If a teacher have determined, through careful documented observations and consultations with parents and teachers, that there is a child in our program who is not responding to the behavior guidance strategies outlined in this policy and implemented by our teachers, a teacher may have to develop a specialized behavioral intervention program. Such an intervention program is not to be taken lightly and will be considered only after all other strategies have proven ineffective and have determined that there are no medical issues that require other treatment. In order to implement a specialized behavioral intervention program, a teacher must have the following documentation:
Please note that strategies for a specialized behavioral intervention program are to be determined and utilized on an individual child basis. The identified strategies for one child are not to be automatically transferred to another child without appropriate consultation taking place.
15143 Hwy #1 Kingston Nova Scotia B0P 1R0
Phone: (902) 242-3080
Copyright 2013. Just Right Child Care. All rights reserved.