Behavior Guidance & Non-Violence Practices

Behavior Policy

The team members establish and enforce clear and consistent limits and expectations for appropriate behavior.  The team members will never use physically or mentally abusive forms of punishment.  Team members deal with inappropriate behavior through various techniques including modeling, distraction and redirection, adjusting the environment, and cooperative problem solving.

To accomplish this, we will:

  • Model appropriate behaviors with children as well as model appropriate expressions of their feelings.
  • Tailor behavior expectations to the child’s development level.
  • Anticipate problem situations and intervene by distracting the child and redirecting him/her to a positive alternative.
  • Engage children in cooperative problem solving (examine alternatives, identify consequences, and choose appropriate action).
  • Protect the safety of the children and staff by establishing clear expectations and creating a safe environment through teacher proximity in the classroom/playground setting.
  • Provide immediate and directly related consequences for a child’s unacceptable behavior.

In the case of persistent unacceptable behavior, we will:

  • Observe and record the behavior of the child and team member response to the behavior.
  • Separation may be necessary when a child’s behavior threatens the well-being of the child or other children in the program.  When this happens the child will remain within an enclosed part of the classroom where the child can be seen and heard by a team member.
  • If a child is separated from the group three or more times in one day, the child’s parents will be notified and a notation of the parent notification shall be indicated in the log.
  • If a child is separated five or more times in a week or eight times in two weeks, a plan to address the behavior will be documented in consultation with the child’s parent, other staff persons and professionals when appropriate.  It will be at the discretion of the Director and team members as to the feasibility of continued care for the child.
  • Continued displays of unacceptable behavior may result in the child being suspended from the child care center.

Separation Procedures

When separation is used as a form of child guidance, the child’s return to the group must be contingent on the child’s stopping or bringing under control the unacceptable behavior.  The child must be returned to the group as soon as the behavior stops.

A note in the separation log:  The log will include the child’s name, team member name, time, date, and behavior guidance technique used and how the child’s behavior continued to threaten the well-being of the child or other children.

Every effort will be made to help the child understand the inappropriateness of his or her actions and agree to an alternate form of behavior. When the conflict is child-to-child, every effort will be made to have them reason together face-to-face with staff facilitating.

Redirection: When reasoning has been pursued and behavior has not changed, redirecting the child from the activity involved to another program space for an appropriate amount of time will take place if necessary.

Child/Y Team Member Conference: When the program staff is not successful in correcting behavior, the Director is consulted and may decide on further appropriate action/consequences.

Conferences: If the parent needs to be formally involved in the process, specific changes in behavior will be requested, with specific consequences for noncompliance outlined. This is usually accomplished through the use of a Behavior Contract.

Behavior Contract: Is used for a child who, after much effort and numerous attempts, has not been able to modify their behavior. Goals are stated in positive ways to help the child understand the desired behavior and the timelines are fair and realistic.

Suspension for Inappropriate Behavior: In order to provide a safe, effective program, suspension may occur for children unable to follow the Behavioral Guidelines. The Program Director will determine the length of suspension.

Non-Violence Policy

Our program is a non-violence program.  This means that hitting, fighting, verbal threats or violent statements will not be tolerated. Firearms, ammunition and other potentially dangerous items may not be kept or brought on the premises. Weapons of any kind are not allowed in the YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center.  If a child is found to have a weapon, they will be removed from the program immediately.  Our policy also means that toy guns, squirt guns, knives or weapons of any kind are not allowed and will be confiscated.  Any violation may result in suspension.

Children using violence as a method of reconciling differences or settling disputes will be considered for immediate suspension, possibly expulsion at the discretion of the Center Director.

We reserve the right to bypass the above behavior steps at any time and remove a child from our care or program activity for reasons of safety. If a parent is called to pick up a child for behavior, the child must be picked up within one hour.