Supporting an Effective Workforce


This document provides basic guidance about program policy elements that help reduce suspension and expulsion.  Also consider the resources for supporting staff, and processes to accessing help within Pennsylvania. Developing Suspension and Expulsion Policies  (external link) 
This document provides some specific steps programs can include in their policies and procedures to increase staff and skills and reduce suspension and expulsion of children.  Resources include national tools and guidance and PA-specific processes.  Guidance to Support Implementation of OCDEL Announcement on Suspension and Expulsion: Developing Policy  (external link) 
This online guide identifies program and staff characteristics that predict suspensions and expulsions and gives specific guidance about how to reduce these stress points. Start with the 5-7 minute self-assessment within the introduction to help you focus where to start looking at recommendations. Online Guide (external link)

This webpage describes what ECMHC is, who is eligible for this service, and how to apply for support. ECMHC project (external link)

  •  Take a look at some of the ECMH articles included on the ECMHC webpage for practical strategies that your staff can put to use immediately
Pennsylvania’s system of support for the Pyramid Model and Program Wide and School Wide PBIS is the PAPBS Network.This link will take you to descriptions and documents to help you decide whether PW PBIS would be a good strategy for your program. Check out more PBIS related information for early childhood programs or schools by starting at the PAPBS homepage. Link to PAPBS site.(external link) 
This publication provides guidance for writing a positive behavior support policy which is required for all Early Intervention programs to give program-wide guidance on developing individual behavior support strategies, goals, and plans. Guidance for Developing a Behavior Support Policy (external link) 

Teaching Social Skills

A short video highlighting ways that teachers can support children in learning how to use problem solving to deal with the upsets, conflicts and other social problems that may occur in a preschool classroom. Visit “Problem Solving in the Moment” to view this video. (external link)

While there be sure to check out:

Tips for Teachers (external link) 

Social stories can support a child who is having difficulty with an activity, routine, or event. It can help them to understand it, step by step. Social stories can be about specific situations at school, home, or in the community. You can learn more about social stories by visiting their the social stories webpage.  (external link) 
Short video presenting a four-step guide for teacher planning to teach behavior expectations in a preschool classroom. Visit “Stating Behavioral Expectations” to view this video. (external link)

While there be sure to check out:

Activities with Families. This will provide a resource with ideas for partnering with families

A 40-minute video webinar for preschool teachers showing ways to help young children to cope with, to manage, and to express in a healthy way strong emotions like anger, disappointment, etc. Take a look at this edition of “Teacher Time” to watch and listen to this webinar.  (external link) 
Using visual supports to create a classroom Problem Solving Kits is a way to teach children how to begin to solve problem skills. Each visual should be specifically taught during a large or small group time. Visit Head Start’s Visual Support page to learn more. (external link)

while there be sure to check out:

Build Social Skills, Dragon Brain, Emotional Regulation, Friendship Kit, Problem Solving, and Voice Volume Charts.

Engaging Families

This on-line learning series available through the Office of Head Start’s Early Childhood Knowledge and Learning Center provides opportunities for practitioners to practice everyday strategies to develop positive goal-oriented relationships with families which are key to support children’s development and to prepare them for school. Simulation 1 allows you to practice building bonds with families.  Simulation 2 explores the process of developing and implementing goals with families and Simulation 3 explores using a strengths-based attitude to partner with families during challenging times.   Participants may complete simulations individually or complete the series. Engagement Simulation(external link) 
This article from NAEYC’s Young Children journal describes what makes the difference when early childhood programs build successful, collaborative relationships with families.  The article includes how Strengthening Families Illinois took steps to support staff’s desire to change practices that may be subtle barriers to closer staff–family connections. Describing how Strengthening Families Illinois had made a difference, one program director said, “When a parent was chronically late, we used to look at our watches at pick-up time and complain to each other about how inconsiderate she was. Now, we say to each other, ‘I wonder what’s going on with her and how we could help.’” NAEYC article (external link)

While there be sure to check out:

“You’re Welcome” Parent Leaders Speak Out on What it Takes to Promote Real Parent Engagement (external link) 

Use this checklist as part of your program’s comprehensive system for fostering family engagement. Complete it as a staff team exercise; ask each staff member to complete the form, and discuss the responses at a staff meeting. Revisit the checklist on a regular basis to check on your progress. Self-Assessment Checklist (external link)

While there be sure to check out:

Principles of Effective Practice (external link)



Nurturing Relationships/Supportive Environments

Short articles and handouts that address classroom specific problems and provide clear, easy solutions to try in your classroom. Topics include, but are not limited to: Building Positive Teacher Child Relationships, Expressing Warmth and Affection to Children, and Understanding Temperament in Infants and Toddlers.  Check out the “What Works” page on the CSEFEL website to learn more. (external link)

While there be sure to check out:

Brief 24 Attachment: What Works?  

Brief, 15-minute online professional development that uses videos and articles to support practitioner learning in building relationships. Topics include fostering connections, being aware of children’s needs and creating a caring community. To view some of these videos and articles, go to this Teaching and Learning page. (external link)
Practice guides for classroom practitioners to self-assess and develop skills in topics such as early peer interaction. There are two resources that can be used with this: Peer Interaction PDF and Peer Interactions Videos(external link)


Addressing Challenging Behaviors

This Teachers’ Reference Guide focuses on developing Positive Behavior Support policies and plans to address challenging behaviors. Reference Guide(external link) 

For Trainers/Coaches

Short self-assessment checklists that include topics such as “Families are full team members, and Communication for Teaming and Collaboration Checklist”. Visit the ECTA Center’s Checklist webpage to learn more. (external link)
Illustrations include videos illustrating IFSP Partnership and development focusing on active listening and what intervention can and should look like. To learn more, visit the ECTA Center’s Illustrations page. (external link)
Learning tools from the Office of Head Start on collaborating with families. To learn more about collaborating with families, visit the Relationship-Based Practice page. (external link) 
Coaching Kits guide coaches from assessment to strategies for teaching and providing feedback on various topics. Check out the Teaching Friendship Skills and Problem Solving kits. (opens in a new tab)

We are developing additional kits to support your work. Keep coming back to check for new coaching kits!



Social Emotional Resources for Families

Social Emotional Resources for
Home-based Programs