Early Childhood Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (EC-PBIS) is “A continuum of supports and services designed to build social and emotional competence and prevent challenging behaviors for all young children.”- Lise Fox. In other words, it is a system of ideas to change your relationships with children and your environment in order to deter and decrease challenging behavior. I have been consulting with a child care center that has done a wonderful job of incorporating EC-PBIS into their program. The Director of this child care center has shared some of her EC-PBIS practices.
A big part of EC-PBIS is developing a schedule and routine and sticking by it as much as possible. Schedules are made up of positive wording. Early Childhood schedules consist of words and pictures (real pictures of your children doing the activity is a great way of having them “help”). Children are shown the schedule and shown what comes first and what comes next.
When the clean up song is played the children know it is time to pick up our toys. If they clean up the toys they were playing with before the song is over they earn a small prize.
Another idea for clean up is the “mystery toy” game. The teacher/staff member chooses a few toys that are on the floor/ not in their correct spot before clean up time. The staff tell the children they have some mystery toys and if they are picked up and put in the right spot they will get a prize. This makes clean up time fun and it works.
Have the children line up on feet taped to the floor inside and on painted footprints outside.
Family pictures in the classroom at the children’s level seems to help with separation anxiety.
Have pictures and use positive wording to express the expectations/rules. Example: Walking feet instead of “No running.” Another idea is doing crafts with kids to help them understand them and get them excited about following the rules. Example: Marshmallow toes in the hallway. Show them what that means by doing it yourself. A craft idea would be to have feet they can color on paper then have them glue marshmallows on the feet. You can’t hear marshmallows so lets try to make our feet that quiet.
Programs that take the EC-PBIS training report that it gives staff guidance on how to interact and appropriately build relationships with children. They are given ideas and tools to help children interact better with others, both children and staff. EC-PBIC can be used at all ages. There are many resources to refer back to during the implementation of this system into your program.
As a Consultant, I have seen great success with programs using EC-PBIS. Communication is generally more positive. Children are calmer and have a more developed social interaction skills. Transitions are smoother, expectations are clearer and negative behaviors are far less frequent. When child care programs have a good knowledge base of EC-PBIS they are better equipped to deal with common problems that arise and are more effective when handling them. Your local CCR&R Child Care Consultant can assist with any questions you may have and direct you to a training!