Family Child Care and Home Preschool

Guidance Policy

As both a parent and a childcare provider, one of many of my goals is to teach children societal values and respect.  I approach this in a positive manner with love, consistency and gentle firmness.

At times I realize there may be a developmental age span between children in a day home.  Younger toddlers may not be adept in verbal communication, and may have difficulty understanding or expressing feelings.   

For children under 2 1/2 years of age, I act mostly as a moderator, guiding them away from any behavior that may occur among children at this age ( i.e. pushing, grabbing, pinching, hitting).  I strive to teach values such as sharing, respect for others,( and themselves), and the importance of being gentle. This is a time in life when kids can be impulsive and unpredictable.  I approach this with the knowledge that the toddler may not fully comprehend appropriate behavior and they are still somewhat unaware of the consequences of their actions.

Children of all ages must be given the opportunity to have rules explained in an understandable way.  The children will be familiarized with the rules of Toddler Haven and if necessary,  reminded of appropriate behavior.

Should a situation occur that may involve discipline, I personally believe and offer the following methods for guidance with the most important being: 

Encouragement/Positive Reinforcement:  I believe children of any age, through encouragement and positive feedback can and will be guided toward acceptable behavior. This reinforces a child’s self esteem.  

Intervention and discussion:   Discussion of problem solving ideas and options can help children learn to make better choices in any foreseeable situation. 

Redirection:  I find it most effective to offer alternatives to the children should undesirable behavior occur.  Redirecting the child's attention to another toy, play area or activity, while still keeping them amongst the group. 

Take a Break/Time Out:  Should discussion/redirection be ineffective, the child may be separated from the group and provided the opportunity to relax and calm down.  Depending on the severity of the situation the child may placed in one of the following supervised breaks and return back to the group once the negative behavior stops or is significantly reduced.  

(a)  The child may "Take a Break" away from the other children but allowed access to a lone "quiet activity". 

(b)  The child may be placed in “Time Out” for a period of one minute per year of age.   

At the end of the "break time"/”time out” I will discuss with the child, within their level of understanding, why the punishment was necessary. This method usually suppresses the offending behavior while teaching the child consequence, responsibility and empathy in a positive manner.

Loss of privilege:  Should neither supervised “break” be effective, and the child shows understanding of the rules, a consequence may be imposed.  This may range from a favorite toy being taken away for a period of time, to being excluded from a favorite activity.   

Parents will be kept informed of any action taken. 

In the rare instance that I feel any child in my care has a serious discipline problem; I will hold a conference with the parent(s).  If an understanding cannot be reached, I do reserve the right to terminate our contract, with as much notice as possible, in order to guarantee the safety and comfort of other children in my care.

     Taken from the Toddler Haven Parents Handbook August 2004 

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