6. Discipline & Behavior Management
AGE APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINE GUIDELINES
The goal of CLA is to instill positive and respectful behaviors in our students. Discipline will be appropriately used to address unacceptable behaviors (which include, but are not limited to, hitting, biting, spitting, foul language, bullying, etc).
Discipline involves rules and correcting inappropriate behavior and is necessary for a child’s growth and the positive environment of a classroom. CLA’s goal in disciplining a child is to do so with empathy and understanding. CLA does not promote or tolerate any form of physical or emotional punishment under in any circumstance. Disciplinary actions taken by CLA may include removing a child from a negative situation but no form of “punishment” will follow.
Parents and teachers are encouraged to discuss the child’s behavior and disciplinary procedures in order to gain a level of consistency. To foster the communication process, the child’s teacher is encouraged to give verbal reports of the child’s behavior to the parent or guardian on a daily basis. Moreover, the child’s parent or guardian is encouraged to listen to these reports. This will allow the parent and teacher to correct inappropriate behavior and promote positive growth.
If a child’s behavior becomes a consistent problem, a meeting between the director, the child’s teacher, and the child’s parent or guardian is required to resolve the problem. If it is necessary to develop a specific plan for dealing with a child’s pattern of unacceptable behavior, all staff shall be notified of the plan and assist in implementing it.
State law mandates that, “any child who, after attempts have been made to meet the child’s individual needs, demonstrates inability to benefit from the type of care offered by the facility, or whose presence is detrimental to the group, shall be discharged from the facility.” Should the need arise, we will assist parents in finding suitable alternatives and will always keep the child’s needs paramount.
We recognize that biting is, unfortunately, not unexpected when children are in group care. We are always upset when a child is bitten in our program, and we recognize how upsetting it is for parents. While we feel that biting is never the right thing to do, we know that children bite for a variety of reasons. Most of these reasons are not related to behavior problems. When biting occurs we respond accordingly. We provide care for the child who was bitten, and help the child who bit to learn other behavior, such as using their words, and work with the child who bit and examine our program so the biting will stop. Our staff expresses the disapproval of biting. They work very hard to keep the children safe as well as help the child who bite to learn a different more appropriate behavior. When there are episodes of ongoing biting, we develop a plan of strategies, techniques and a timeline to address the plan. We do not and will not use any response that harms a child. We give immediate attention and, if necessary, first aid to children who are bitten. We offer ice for the bite if the child is willing to use ice. If the skin is broken, we clean the area with warm water and soap. When children bite, their parents are informed personally and privately the day of the incident and an incident report is given. Parents of the child that receives the bite are also informed and given an incident report the day of the incident while maintaining confidentiality. A form is completed and signed by a teacher and a parent. One copy is given to the parents of each child and the other copy is kept in a file in the office.
** Please read the complete handbook for more information on disciplinary procedures and considerations.