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. View the video below for an introduction to the issue and this guide.
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.
Roadmap to Navigating the Guide
What recommended policies and practices are most important for you and your program? To help you prioritize, take the optional self-assessment that will provide you with a tailored roadmap to navigating the guide.
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.
Suggested citation for this guide:
Schachner, A., Belodoff, K., Chen, W-B., Kutaka, T., Fikes, A., Ensign, K., Chow, K., Nguyen, J., & Hardy, J. (2016). Preventing Suspensions and Expulsions in Early Childhood Settings: An Administrator’s Guide to Supporting All Children’s Success. SRI International: Menlo Park, CA. Accessed from http://preventexpulsion.org