Behaviorial and Discipline Policies

This philosophy of positive discipline is distributed to all staff members and posted within the center for referral by employees and parents.

Positive discipline is a process of teaching children how to behave appropriately. Positive discipline respects the rights of the individual child, the group, and the adult. Methods of positive discipline shall be consistent with the age and developmental needs of the children, and lead to the ability to develop and maintain self-control.

Positive discipline is different from punishment. Punishment tells children what they should not do; positive discipline tells children what they should do. Punishment teaches fear; positive discipline teaches self-esteem.

You can use positive discipline by planning ahead:

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  • Anticipate and eliminate potential problems.
  • Have a few consistent, clear rules that are explained to children and understood by adults.
  • Have a well-planned daily schedule.
  • Plan for ample elements of fun and humor.
  • Include some group decision-making.
  • Provide time and space for each child to be alone.
  • Make it possible for each child to feel he/she has had some positive impact on the group.
  • Provide the structure and support children need to resolve their differences.
  • Share ownership and responsibility with the children. Talk about our room, our toys, etc.

You can use positive discipline by intervening when necessary:

  • Re-direct to a new activity to change the focus of a child's behavior.
  • Provide individualized attention to help the child deal with a particular situation.
  • Use time-out -- by removing a child for a few minutes from the area or activity so that he/she may gain self-control. (One minute for each year of the child's age is a good rule of thumb).
  • Divert the child and remove from the area of conflict.
  • Provide alternative activities and acceptable ways to release feelings.
  • Point out natural or logical consequences of children's behavior.
  • Offer a choice only if there are two acceptable options.
  • Criticize the behavior, not the child. Don't say "bad boy" or "bad girl." Instead you might say "That is not allowed here."

You can use positive discipline by showing love and encouragement:

  • Catch the child being good. Respond to and reinforce positive behavior; acknowledge or praise to let the child know you approve of what he/she is doing.
  • Provide positive reinforcement through rewards for good behavior.
  • Use encouragement rather than competition, comparison, or criticism.
  • Overlook small annoyances and deliberately ignore provocations.
  • Give hugs and caring to every child every day.
  • Appreciate the child's point of view.
  • Be loving.

Positive discipline is NOT:

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  • Disciplining a child for failing to eat, sleep, or for soiling themselves
  • Hitting, shaking, or any other form of corporal punishment
  • Using abusive language, ridicule, harsh, humiliating or frightening treatment, or any other form of emotional punishment of children.
  • Engaging in or inflicting any form of child abuse and/or neglect
  • Withholding food, emotional responses, stimulation, or opportunities for rest or sleep
  • Requiring a child to remain silent or inactive for an inappropriately long period of time

Guidelines for Using Time Outs

Time outs are not used to punish a child. Time-outs are used when a child is losing control or refuses redirection. Our ultimate goal is for the child to achieve self-control, however, it is only used when the child is independently able to manage self-control. Therefore, once a child has regained control, the time-out will end.

Our Big Hugs staff will address a child’s inappropriate behavior as follows:

  • Warn the child that his/her behavior is inappropriate.
  • If he/she continues to behave inappropriately, he/she will be removed calmly from the situation.
  • Telling the child what behavior is inappropriate.
  • State the consequences of continuing the inappropriate behavior.

If a child changes his/her behavior as a result of a warning, the daycare staff member will let the child know that a behavioral change has been noticed.

If a child continues inappropriate behavior, a Big Hugs’ staff member may use the following techniques:

  • Ignore the behavior.
  • Remove the distracting object.
  • Remove the child from the activity.
  • Take away a privilege.
  • Use time-out.

If the time-out method must be used:

  • Time-out limit should be set so that the child is told how long he/she must sit. Guideline: 1 minute for each year of age. Maximum - 5 minutes.
  • The child should sit away from the group, in sight of the childcare teacher and group activity.
  • Once the time-out has been completed, the preschool staff members should speak to the child to ensure that the child is aware of why they were assigned time-out.
  • When the time-out method is used without success, a conference between the daycare teacher, parent and child should be planned.

Expulsion Policy

Unfortunately, there are sometimes reasons we have to expel a child from our daycare program either on a short term or permanent basis. We want you to know we will do everything possible to work with the family of the child(ren) in order to prevent this policy from being enforced. The following are reasons we may have to expel or suspend a child from this center.

  • The child is at risk of causing serious injury to other children or himself/herself.
  • Parent threatens physical or intimidating actions toward childcare staff members.
  • Parent exhibits verbal abuse to preschool staff in front of enrolled children.
  • Failure to pay/habitual lateness in payments.
  • Failure to complete required forms including the child’s immunization records.
  • Habitual tardiness when picking up your child.
  • Verbal abuse to daycare staff.
  • Failure of child to adjust after a reasonable amount of time.
  • Uncontrollable tantrums/angry outbursts.
  • Ongoing physical or verbal abuse to child care staff or other children.
  • Excessive biting.
  • If after the remedial actions above have not worked, the child’s parent/guardian will be advised verbally and in writing about the child’s or parent’s behavior warranting an expulsion. An expulsion action is meant to be a period of time so that the parent/guardian may work on the child’s behavior or to come to an agreement with the preschool.
  • The parent/guardian will be informed regarding the length of the expulsion period.
  • The parent/guardian will be informed about the expected behavioral changes required in order for the child or parent to return to the daycare center.
  • The parent/guardian will be given a specific expulsion date that allows the parent sufficient time to seek alternate child care (approximately one to two weeks’ notice depending on risk to other children’s welfare or safety.) Failure of the child/parent to satisfy the terms of the plan may result in permanent expulsion from the child care center.

If a child’s parent(s):

  • Made a complaint to the Office of Licensing regarding a daycare center’s alleged violations of the licensing requirements.
  • Reported abuse or neglect occurring at the preschool.
  • Questioned the center regarding policies and procedures.
  • Without giving the parent sufficient time to make other child care arrangements.
  • Big Hugs Staff will try to redirect child from negative behaviors.
  • Big Hugs Staff will reassess daycare classroom environment, appropriateness of activities, and supervision.
  • Big Hugs Staff will always use positive methods and language while disciplining children.
  • Big Hugs Staff will praise appropriate behaviors.
  • Big Hugs Staff will consistently apply consequences for rules.
  • Child will be given verbal warnings.
  • Child will be given time to regain control.
  • Child’s disruptive behavior will be documented and maintained in confidentiality.
  • Parent/guardian will be notified verbally.
  • Parent/guardian will be given written copies of the disruptive behaviors that might lead to expulsion.
  • The director, classroom staff and parent/guardian will have a conference(s) to discuss how to promote positive behaviors.
  • The parent will be given literature or other resources regarding methods of improving behavior.
  • Recommendation of evaluation by professional consultation on premises.
  • Recommendation of evaluation by local school district child study team.