Operating a day care can be a challenging and exciting thing to do at the same time. This is due to the various challenges faced mostly attributed to the children enrolled at the daycare. Early childhood education teachers are mostly tasked with the heavy duty of taking care of the children at a particular daycare, and where they have children who tend to portray a peculiar behavior, a challenge is already at hand and especially if the children are large in number. Due to this reason, there is a model or framework that is structured to enhance children’s social-emotional development, prevention and address children’s challenging behavior in the daycare setup.
The model consist of four levels; Positive relationships with children, families and colleagues, creative supportive environments, social and emotional teaching strategies and finally intensive individualized interventions. The four levels of practice were developed to enhance the social-emotional development and behavior of children even those with continuing or persistent challenging behavior. Therefore, by employing these four levels, social-emotional learning in children is eased immensely and hence easing a child’s challenging behavior.
Positive relationships with children, families and colleagues
This aspect forms the foundation and basis of this model. It shows that the model is based on positive and supportive relationships between children and early childhood education teachers, and not leaving behind families and other professionals. Such relationships are build up gradually and do not come automatically. They are built through being respectful, ability to reciprocate and the responsive interactions involved. Early childhood teachers are advised to understand that people are diverse in nature and this also applies to the children they attend to. Having said this, early childhood teachers are expected to examine their personal beliefs regarding what they consider as acceptable and unacceptable on a particular child’s behavior.
Creative supportive environments
Children would mostly resort to challenging behaviors when they do not know what is required of them, do not know what to do, how to do it or even when to do it. These challenging behaviors children portray always result from being confused, being anxious, frustrated or bored for that matter. For special cases, some kids may portray challenging behaviors due to limited stimulants, being perfectionists, or not getting peers who share common interests as them. A change in the classroom set up and design is advised to ensure children engage in meaningful activities.
The activities can be chosen on the different unique abilities, interests and backgrounds of the children involved. The supportive environments given to children help them understand expectations and routines, and also help them be engaged in the given activity, therefore, minimizing the chances of challenging behavior to occur. Teachers are therefore encouraged to reinforce positively and teach children expectations that are meaningful. While at it, they should also involve the parents so as to work together to achieve the desired social-emotional learning environment for children.
Social-emotional teaching strategies
When it comes to the development of children, one has to be very careful of the strategies used to inculcate the desired outcome. Some of the approaches used here are, teaching social skills, facilitating children’s emotional development and creating a social context. The children’s ability to develop social and emotional skills is entirely based on the social environment of the classroom. The children need these skills for their betterment in life and in school. Some of the achievements that come with proper social-emotional development include; knowledge on how to resolve conflicts, how to make friends, how to initiate and maintain relationships, how to effectively communicate their feelings, emotions and needs. The skills to be taught can generally be categorized into three; friendship skills, emotional regulation and empathy and problem solving skills.
Some of the strategies used that have become effective in teaching social skills to children are role-playing, description, rehearsal, modeling, reinforcing positively and acknowledging various skills as they happen. For children to understand better, books, songs, puppets and games can be used for further illustrations.
Intensive individual interventions
This approach utilizes the science of Positive Behavior Support (PSB) and is used when children who display challenging behaviors are not responding positively to the other efforts employed. This approach means that it is a process that wants the teaming up of the teachers and parents of the child involved to come up with an intervention on how to address the pressing challenging behavior in that child. The teams would factor in things such as, environmental factors and child’s strengths and weaknesses.