04.02.03e - Child Guidance Policy

Child Guidance Policy Number and Last Update

The first goal of child guidance is to help children learn social skills that will enable them to get along with other people. The second aim is to maintain classrooms in which each child can feel secure and comfortable while learning.

Methods used by teachers will facilitate the children's development of self-discipline and socialization skills.

For Infants & Toddlers:

  1. Meet babies' needs for love and care and build a trusting relationship with them.
  2. Prepare the play space thoughtfully and make it childproof.
  3. Accept children's feelings and provide outlets for them.
  4. Refocus toddlers' attention before inappropriate behavior occurs.
  5. State directions clearly and simply.
  6. Be calm and consistent.
  7. Allow children time to adjust to transitions.

For Preschool Children:

  1. Arrange classrooms that are comfortable, interesting, and encourage children's self-direction.
  2. Help children express their emotions verbally, and through art and play.
  3. Allow children to resolve their own conflicts when possible.
  4. Model and teach children strategies for solving interpersonal conflicts, like negotiation, compromise, and empathy.
  5. Help children learn to anticipate logical consequences for their behaviors.
  6. Involve children in cooperative projects.
  7. Assist children in setting clear, consistent, fair limits for classroom behavior.

It is not acceptable for adults to administer negative discipline:

  1. Inflicting physical pain (suspected child abuse will be reported to the child protection agency).
  2. Name-calling, shouting, threatening, ridiculing, etc.
  3. Depriving a child of any Head Start service (e.g. transportation, field trips, food, daily attendance, etc.)
  4. Isolation.
  5. Sending a child to the office.
  6. Imposing cumulative or delayed consequences.


If staff are concerned about a child's emotional well-being based on observations of child's behavior, they will follow this procedure:

  1. Discuss the behavior at the bi-weekly staffing.
  2. Consult with the mental health professional after he/she has observed the child(ren) in the classroom.
  3. If indicated, visit the parent to ask permission to have the child evaluated. (This visit must be conducted in the family's primary language, and should follow the form of any discussion of special services. It is not the child's behavior that is the first concern, but the reason behind the behavior. For example, the child seems upset, unhappy, angry, depressed, frightened, or anxious. In no case should it be implied that the child or the parent is bad or abnormal. The staff offers to help the child and parent with any of the services available through the program, with the understanding that this is the function of the program.)
  4. If the parents refuse permission to evaluate the child, or refuse the help of other services, remain in contact with them and continue to offer them support. Ask the mental health professional and grantee managers for recommendations for helping the child in the classroom. Hire extra staff, if necessary, and if at all possible. In no case is an eligible child refused services because of his/her own behavior or the parents' refusal to comply with any conditions.

If children have toileting accidents, or are not well potty-trained, they are not in any way penalized. Children are placed in the room with their age group, regardless of potty status. Teachers may ask the cooperation of the parents in beginning potty training, but NO special measures will be imposed upon the child or parents.

By signing below, I verify that I have read the Child Guidance Policy or it has been read to me. I also agree to abide by the policies and procedures contained within:

Signature & Date: