Philosophy: Positive guidance and support towards acceptable behaviour enables children to learn how to manage their feelings, and take responsibility for their own actions.
Legislation: Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010, Education and Care Services National Regulations, The National Quality Standards for Early Childhood Education and Care and School Age Care.
Children’s Needs: To have their feelings acknowledged and accepted and be able to express their emotions appropriately, to feel safe and protected, to have their cultural, religious and racial diversity respected, consistent expectations, maintain children’s dignity and rights and provide children with positive guidance and support towards acceptable behaviour.
Parents Needs: Their children are respected and liked, educators develop responsive, warm, trusting relationships with children and their families, clear guidelines about acceptable behaviours, involvement in determining appropriate strategies for dealing with challenging behaviour, avenues of support for parenting skills, non-judgemental communication from staff.
Educators Needs: Educators to support each other and reflect on ways to improve relationshipsand interactions with children and their families, access to up to date training and resources on dealing with behaviour issues and ensuring that learning program are meeting the child’s developmental, social, emotional and cognitive needs, support from families and management in dealing with difficult behaviours.
Management Needs: Educators/ staff and the Nominated Supervisor to interact in a respectful and co-operative manner and be positive role models for children, appropriately trained educators and budget to sustain this, support from relevant agencies and professionals to make appropriate decisions in the best interests of the individual child and other children in the education and care setting.
The Denman Children’s Centre will provide a secure, respectful and stimulating environment which encourages children to co-operate, enhance their self-esteem and encourages their ability to interact with others, and where acceptable behaviour is promoted.
The purpose of the services Guiding and Supporting Children’s Behaviour Policy is to;
- Encourage acceptable forms of behaviour by using strategies that build children’s confidence and self-esteem
- Provide children with support, guidance and opportunities to manage their emotions to develop ways to appropriately control their own behaviour and
- Promote collaborative approaches to behaviour guidance and support between the service’s stakeholders and/ or external agencies.
The service recognises and understands that a child’s behaviour may be affected by their;
- Age and development
- Level of familiarity with the service’s routines and play limits e.g. when they first start they may not understand what behaviour is expected of them
- General health and wellbeing
- Relationships with their family
- Play and learning environments, which includes the physical indoor/ outdoor settings, the weather, the time of day or year
- Educators teaching strategies and caring practices, which includes how those strategies are implemented
- Relationships with other peers
- External factors, such as family, home life, school or peer group experiences, or media coverage of traumatic events.
Educators will encourage children to talk about any concerns they may have, and will ensure the program reflects and encourages core values such as friendliness, acceptance, respect, kindness, tolerance and co-operation. Educators will always listen and respond to children when incidents at the service. Where a child continues to behave in an inacceptable manner, families will be consulted to establish behaviour support strategies, which ensure that children are treated with the same respect and empathy as an adult would expect.
Creating the right environment
- Educators create environments with sufficient space that are likely to encourage positive social interactions.
- Children initiating their own experiences using equipment and resources that they can access independently.
- Educators plan experiences in which children practice co-operating, sharing and helping, and point out the advantages of behaving this way.
- How children move from one experience to another is planned to allow smooth transitions and limit interruptions for other children.
- Adequate resources are provided to reduce conflict, but still provide opportunities for children to share.
Positive behaviour guidance strategies
- Educators build relationships with children that are safe, secure and convey respect. Educators/ staff show their respect by using normal tone and volume when speaking with children, allowing older children greater freedom and responsibility in recognition in their developmental stage, and working co-operatively with children to solve problems. Shouting at children is not acceptable.
- Children’s appropriate behaviours are acknowledged so that children know then they have acted appropriately.
- Positive behaviours are encouraged by diverting children to more appropriate experiences, showing appreciation for appropriate behaviour and building on each child’s strengths and achievements.
- Children are encouraged to express their feelings in acceptable ways and to settle their differences in a peaceful manner. Educators talk to children about the types of emotions they experience and how to recognise similar feelings in the future.
- Educators will help all children to understand how their behaviour affects others and will ensure children’s self-initiated play:
- Does not make any other child feel frightened or intimidated
- Respects the rights and feelings of others
- Is not overly boisterous or loud, and
- Is valued and supported.
- Educators will always role model behaviour that encourages inclusion, a sense of fairness, empathy and co-operation with others.
- Clear guidelines about acceptable behaviours are developed with input from the children. Families are consulted about expected behaviours during the orientation meeting and through communication strategies such as the parent handbook, newsletters, and daily contact with their child’s educator.
- Limits to behaviour will be clearly expressed in positive terms and reinforced consistently in a developmentally way.
- Children will be given safety and behaviour guidance limits by their educators to help them understand what is acceptable and appropriate in particular situations.
- Educators will negotiate with older children to involve them in setting agreed rules and behaviour limits to encourage ownership of the limits and responsibility for their own behaviour.
- The service believes that developing a supportive relationship with the children encourages them to learn skills in self-control. Punishing a child stops the negative behaviour for a while but does not teach the child self-restraint. The consequences of negative behaviour will be discussed with the child and will be consistently followed through. No further punishment will be given and the child will be reminded in positive terms of the expected behaviour.
- Educators will label the negative behaviour and not the individual child, so that it is always the behaviour that is being managed and not the child.
- A ‘cooling off’ period may be needed so that the child can calm down before discussing what happened and sharing their feelings with the educator, who will in turn talk about their own feelings and responsibilities with the child. Educators will always talk to the child quietly and as an equal, and preferably away from the rest of the group.
- Where dispute or conflict occurs educators will talk separately to all children involved, be calm, fair, positive and firm in their assessment of the situation. Wherever possible the children will be involved in deciding on the appropriate course of action to follow. Educators will not react to conflict situations by getting angry themselves as this could inflame the situation further. If an educator feels they are unable to control their anger in a particular situation, they will ask for assistance from another educator while they remove themselves from the incident to cool down.
- No child will be isolated for any reason other than illness or accident for any period of time. Children will be supervised by an educator at all times.
- No child will receive any form of corporal punishment, punishment by solitary confinement, punishment by physical restraint or other demeaning, humiliating or frighting punishment, or withheld food or drink as a form of punishment.
- Parents/ Guardians who wish to discipline their own child whilst in the service will not at any time use any form of corporal punishment or use unacceptable language.
- Non-enrolled children in the company of their parents will be required to conform to service policy on acceptable behaviour. If a parent/ guardian is not able to control their non-enrolled child’s behaviour they will be asked to remove the child from the service.
Biting and Hitting
- Biting and hitting are normal behaviours in the development of most children, usually influenced by stage of verbal communication skills. If a child bites or hits another child the following will apply;
- Educators will attend first to the victim or to comfort the child and assess their injuries, first aid will be applied.
- If possible another educator will talk about the incident with the biter/ hitter explaining the consequences of his. Her actions in words they understand. The educator will show their disapproval for the child’s actions using tone of voice and facial expressions, and encourage the child to ‘help’ make the victim feel better through positive and gentle touching. The educator will suggest an alternative action to biting or hitting e.g. tell the child to say “My turn please”, and will follow this up by encouraging the biter/ hitter to ask for a turn and make sure he/ she does have a turn.
- An accident/ Illness report form will be completed. Parents of the victim do not need to know who bit the child.
- A record of what happened will include how the situation arose and why the child bit or hit. This information will assist educators to prevent a repeat incident.
- If biting/ hitting is an ongoing concern with a particular child his/ her parents will be informed and strategies will be developed that are consistent between home and the service.
- Whenever an incident of bullying is reported to, or observed by an educator, they will;
- Intervene immediately to stop the bullying behaviour.
- Talk to the bully and to the victim separately. If one or more child are involved in perpetrating the bullying, talk to each child separately in quick succession.
- Consult with other educators to get a wider reading on the problem, and try to alert them to the incident.
- Minor incidents will be resolved with positive guidance to redirect the bully, reassure the victim, and aim to achieve reconciliation between the bully and the victim.
- Educators will reassure the victim that all possible steps will be taken to prevent a re-occurrence of the bullying, and will ensure that appropriate steps have been taken to achieve this e.g. careful monitoring of the children involved.
- Any serious or repeat incidents will be reported to the children’s families. Parents of the bully and the victim will be informed as soon as practical. Depending on the situation this could be immediately through a phone call, or when they come and collect their child at the end of the day.
- Parents/ guardians will be involved in designing a behaviour guidance management plan whenever possible.
- Educators will teach children caring, nonviolent, co-operative and tolerant ideas, values and behaviours through;
- Recognising and encouraging positive, friendly and supportive behaviours of children towards each other,
- Modelling positive, respectful, inclusive and nurturing behaviours towards children, families and other educators/ staff,
- Planning and implementing co-operative, non-co-operative experiences.
- Families are asked to speak to their child’s educators if they suspect that bullying has occurred. Families are also asked to support the importance of courtesy, consideration and co-operation in everyday life, with their child.
- Educators will be given opportunity to attend training that assist them to;
- Identify bullying behaviours
- Resolve conflicts
- Manage groups of children and
- Be assertive.
Managing extreme or persistent behavioural challenges
- If a child’s behaviour places him/ herself or another child in danger, educators will act immediately to prevent danger, and talk through the problem with the child or children concerned.
- If children consistently display unacceptable behaviour the room leader in the child’s room will ensure;
- The expectations of the child’s behaviour are realistic and appropriate to their developmental level
- The child understands the limits
- There is no conflict between the service and home expectations
- The child’s needs are being met e.g. adequate storage for the child’s personal belongings, adequate nutritional snacks provided, service set up to encourage independence
- The child isn’t copying observed behaviour
- Events at the service have not encouraged the behaviour
- Consequences of the behaviour do not encourage it to persist
- Strategies are consistently followed by all educators in contact with the child
- Where children exhibit recurring behavioural challenges the Nominated Supervisor and the child’s educators will work with the child and the child’s family to develop a behaviour guidance management plan that is consistently followed between home and the service. The plan will;
- Explain why the displayed behaviour in inappropriate
- Document inappropriate behaviours that occur consistently
- Identify trigger to inappropriate behaviours
- Document emerging patterns of behaviours
- Define the context in which the behaviours occur
- Identify where the behaviour could possibly harm another child or adult
- Document the appropriate behaviours that are required to replace the inappropriate behaviours
- Reflect a collaborative approach with the family
Excluding a child due to inappropriate behaviours
- After the child has been given every opportunity to respond positively and if all other methods fail to result in an improvement in behaviour, the Nominated Supervisor will discuss alternative care with the parent, in consideration of the health and safety of the other children in care.
- Depending on the severity of the behaviour the service may implement the following steps;
- The approved provider will meet with the parents asking that they attend to their child’s challenging behaviour. The service will support the family to access further professional assistance; the child will be given reasonable time to respond positively to new strategies and the family will be supported in this as far as possible.
- If there is insufficient improvement in the child’s behaviour the approved provider will meet with the parents advising them that their child attendance at the service will be suspended for the next two weeks in order to give the child time to modify his/ her behaviour away from the service. After this time the child may return and will be given reasonable time to display a positive change in behaviour.
- If the child does not demonstrate a positive change in behaviour on their return to the service, the approved provider will again meet with the parents and explain that the child’s attendance at the service will be suspended until such time as the behaviour is corrected.
- In the case of severe behaviour which threatens self-harm or bodily harm to educators or other children, the parent will be informed that the child will be suspended or dismissed immediately.
- Previous service policy
- PSCA Policies in Practice
- Confidentiality Interactions with Children
- Accident Illness and Emergency Grievance and Complaints
- Educational Programs Inclusion and Equal Opportunity
- Enrolment and Orientation Partnerships and Communication with Families
This policy will be reviewed bi-annually