Positive Behavioral Supports Project: Head Start
Persistent challenging behaviors in early childhood can be associated with subsequent problems in socialization, school adjustment and academic performance, which can continue to affect adaptation in adolescence and adulthood. Challenging behaviors should be addressed in early childhood because problems that are not resolved by the mid-point of elementary school often become resistant to change. Positive results can be achieved by recruiting, training, and supporting individuals to provide positive behavioral supports to people with diverse needs living in communities throughout Texas.
Provide training and support to Head Start, early childhood, childcare and pre-school staff for implementation of positive behavior support across three tiers: universal, at-risk and intensive.
Region 17 provided training to improve the behavior intervention skills and knowledge of staff in 18 childcare, public school Pre-K, Early Childhood Intervention (ECI), Early Head Start, Head Start and other settings that serve children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) ages 2 to 5. Each site received core Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) training using a curriculum from the Center for Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning as well as supplemental training that complemented the components of PBIS.
Mentoring and coaching were provided to the directors and teachers at each site to provide assistance and guidance when implementing the PBIS principles, including specialized assistance in handling extreme behaviors. Resources were provided to assist them in implementing and sustaining PBIS strategies. One of the sites that was very successful in implementing the Preschool PBIS principles agreed to become a “model site” for the project and allow new sites to visit and observe.
The project used the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment at the beginning and the end of each project year to measure the social and emotional growth of the students. Teachers completed the assessment with each student which allowed them to develop a “growth” plan for students who showed areas of concern.
- Region 17 worked with 18 early childhood centers, impacting over 1200 children
- Fewer children were expelled from early childhood centers involved in the project
- Staff PBIS improved, and teachers felt better equipped to handle difficult behaviors
- Decreased staff turnover rates were observed in some childcare settings
- Increased social-emotional levels were observed in participants 2-5 years of age