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DISCIPLINE POLICY
We believe that children need limits in order to feel secure about themselves and their environment. The purpose of discipline is to help children learn acceptable behavior and develop self control.  The basis for our Discipline Policy is an organized classroom and prepared staff members. At HORIZONS UNLIMITED PRESCHOOLwe strive to develop a positive relationship between the teacher and the child.  We also believe that if an interesting and challenging program is offered to the child, then discipline problems are at a minimum. If inappropriate behavior does occur, we begin with a positive approach.
 

According to licensing rules for child care centers in the state of FLORIDA:

Rule 1240-4-6-,09, (2)  Behavior Management and Guidance. (Florida Statue 63E-7.009)

 
. Attention spans and skills of children shall be considered so that caregivers do not require behavior of children which is developmentally inappropriate.
. Discipline shall be reasonable, appropriate, and in terms the children can understand.
. Praise and encouragement of good behavior shall be used instead of focusing upon unacceptable behavior only.
. Punishment that is shaming, humiliating, frightening, verbally abusive, or injurious to children shall not be used.
. Punishment shall not be related to food, rest or toileting.
. Spanking or any other type of corporal punishment is prohibited. (“Corporal punishment” is the infliction of bodily pain as a penalty for behavior of which the punisher disapproves.)
 

The following is considered unacceptable behavior:

Running in the classroom Leaving the area or group without permission
Becoming disruptive Removing shoes or other articles of clothing
Throwing toys, rocks, sand Using toys and materials inappropriately
Aggressive behavior Using toys and materials inappropriately
Abusive, or inappropriate language Arguing with team members or other children
Lack of Cooperation Behavior determinied by the director to be unacceptable
Hurting themselves or others, such as hitting, biting, spitting, kicking, and pulling hair
The teacher has these prime responsibilities when dealing with inappropriate behavior:
1.Redirection - Encourage child’s good behavior and/or redirect his or her activity.
2.“Time out” or “think time” within their area
  • If a problem still exists, the child is then removed from the situation
  • One minute per year of age, no more than three minutes after the child has regained control or composure
  • “Time out” or “think time” shall be defined as an area away from the group or activity yet within their area.
  • The child will be allowed to return to the group as soon as possible.
  • The teacher will not only decide if the child is ready to return, but will encourage him/her to be ready.
  • If redirection and “time out” /”think time” periods are not sufficient, staff members intervene as soon as possible to prevent physical or emotional injury.
  • The teacher will try to help the child identify his/her unacceptable behavior and possible alternatives
  • 3.“Time out” or “think time” away from the group
  • If the child continues in the inappropriate behavior
  • ” /”think time” with-in the area becomes either inappropriate or ineffective And/or the “time out
  • 4.Behavior Report
  • If the child’s behavior continues to be inappropriate
  • OR the severity denotes an un-resolved problem.
  • 5.Behavior Intervention Meeting
  • If the child’s behavior continues to be inappropriate, a behavior intervention meeting may take place
  • Those in attendance will be the parents, the child’s lead teacher, and a member of the leadership team
  • This may be called by any of the individuals listed above.
  • 6.Sending a child home
  • When the child becomes out of control
  • And/or when the child fails to respond to the  measures taken by the HORIZONS UNLIMITED PRESCHOOL Team
  • This is at the discretion of the most senior Leadership Team member present
  • 7.Suspension
  • Three written behavioral reports within a nine week period constitute the child’s being suspended from the child care program for one week
  • Behavior Intervention Meeting - During this time  the parent or guardian, the lead teacher and a member of the leadership team will meet in an attempt to determine if the child is capable of drastically changing  his/her behavior to allow re‑entry into the program.  This is the mandatory behavior intervention meeting described in the Behavior Intervention Policy.
  • Fees will still be paid for this week to retain the child’s space in the HORIZONS UNLIMITED PRESCHOOL program.
  • If the child does continue in the program and does receive a fourth behavioral report within a 30 day period, termination of services may occur.
  • 8.Termination of services
  • When the severity of a problem is great enough that it could endanger the safety of the child(ren)’s welfare
  • Termination may be effective immediately after consulting the most senior Leadership Team member present
  • The parent or guardian will be notified.
  • The Center considers this to be a drastic measure and would not resort to such unless the child’s behavior significantly and directly threatens the physical or mental health, safety or well-being of one or more of the other children or team members and, that threat cannot be eliminated.
  • In addition to the above, the center will use three methods to track behavior and communicate with parents.
    1) Daily Reports – a parent/center communication format that does not count as a written behavior report.  If the teacher deems necessary, a copy will be kept on file.

    2) Observation Form – an inner center documentation of observed inappropriate or challenging behavior.  These may be filled out at any time by any center team member and are used solely to track behavior patterns.  These are to be turned in daily to the lead teacher over the student and then to the leadership team for filing.

    3) The “Behavior” Report – These are the “Incident Forms” and are duplicate.  The original is filed in the child’s file and the copy is given to the parent.  These are pre-approved by a leadership team member.  Each “Behavior”  Report counts as one of the three that would result in suspension.

    HORIZONS UNLIMITED PRESCHOOL expects parental involvement and cooperation in all aspects of discipline.  Failure to comply can warrant termination.  We reserve the right to discontinue work with any child/parent whose needs we cannot meet.  The key to effective discipline is consistency.  We try to be as consistent as possible in all areas.  We provide the child with a warm and loving atmosphere in which to grow and learn.
    BEHAVIOR INTERVENTION POLICY
    At HORIZONS UNLIMITED PRESCHOOL, our vision is to provide the best education to the most children possible.  We strive to help every child be successful and to achieve their highest potential.  We implement the Behavior Intervention Policy when needed to ensure this happens. 

    The basis for our Discipline Policy is an organized classroom and prepared staff members. At HORIZONS UNLIMITED PRESCHOOL we strive to develop a positive relationship between the teacher and the child.  We also believe that if an interesting and challenging program is offered to the child, then discipline problems are at a minimum.  If inappropriate behavior does occur, we begin with a positive approach.

    A Behavior Intervention Meeting may be called in three different manners:

      • The primary teacher or a member of the Leadership Team may call for a Behavior Intervention Meeting at any time prior to the third disciplinary action as they deem necessary. 
      • Either parent may call for a Behavior Intervention Meeting at any time prior to the third disciplinary action as they deem necessary. 
      • A Behavior Intervention Meeting is mandatory after the third Discipline Note. 
    Under the first two scenarios, our first goal will be to determine and identify the behavioral difficulties that the child is having.  The child’s primary teacher will document the circumstances surrounding the behavior and the current actions that are being taken to correct this.  Parents will then be asked to provide information concerning any changes in the home and will give input if they have noticed this behavior and what actions they are currently taking to correct it.  A plan of action will then be discussed and agreed upon by all members present.  If problems continue, an additional intervention will be scheduled

    The approach will vary slightly in the case that a mandatory Behavior Intervention Meeting has been called after the third discipline note.  Our first goal will be to determine if our program is appropriate for the needs of the child.  Services will be terminated if it is determined that we cannot meet the child’s needs in our program.  We will follow the steps listed above if we determine our program is appropriate for the child’s special needs. 

    In addition to the above, the center will use three methods to track behavior and communicate with parents.
    1. Daily Reports – a parent/center communication format that does not count as a written behavior report.  If the teacher deems necessary, a copy will be kept on file.

    2. Observation Form – an inner center documentation of observed inappropriate or challenging behavior.  These may be filled out at any time by any center team member and are used solely to track behavior patterns.  These are to be turned in daily to the lead teacher over the student and then to the leadership team for filing.

    3. The “Behavior” Report – These are the “Incident Forms” and are duplicate.  The original is filed in the child’s file and the copy is given to the parent.  These are pre-approved by a leadership team member.  Each “Behavior” Report counts as one of the three that would result in suspension.

    HORIZONS UNLIMITED PRESCHOOL expects parental involvement and cooperation in all aspects of discipline.  Failure to comply can warrant termination.  We reserve the right to discontinue work with any child/parent whose needs cannot be met. 

    The Behavior Intervention Policy’s purpose is to establish procedures for the parents, lead teacher, and a member of the leadership team to utilize when planning to meet the needs of the child(ren) with unacceptable or inappropriate behavior.  A parent, the child’s lead teacher and a member of the leadership team will be in attendance at a Behavior Intervention Meeting and agree in advance on the time and date. 

    HORIZONS UNLIMITED PRESCHOOL
    BITING POLICY

    Biting is a common and a developmentally appropriate behavior in young children, especially from 9-30 months. Generally children over the age of 3 have developed more appropriate ways to communicate. Experts n the field of child development report that biting occurs chiefly as a result of a child’s incapacity to communicate. Children may become upset by a new experience, and may bite as a response. While biting during the toddler years is developmentally appropriate, it is upsetting to parents and caregivers when it occurs, the goal of our polity is to replace the child’s undesirable behavior with more effective way of communication and to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our program. The following is a plan of our pre=emptive strategies:

    • For infants and toddlers, positive teething activities will be provided to comfort and soothe their gums.
    • When children bite out of frustration or anger, behavior will be redirected to some other activity and/or will be shown an alternate way to communicate what they want. We will encourage the use of language to express wants and needs.
    • Parents will be notified if their child is bitten at school. However in order to protect the privacy of all our families, parents will not be informed of the biter.
    • If a child bites frequently, staff will utilize a more intensive approach which involves carefully observing the child to determine precipitating events and maintaining a log to help track the behavior. Conferences with parents may also be utilized to discuss the child’s actions at home, search for outside resources, etc.
    • Biting incidents will be communicated to the parents of the biter to ensure staff and parents are working together to understand and prevent this behavior.

    In order to ensure the safety of all children, if all attempts to stop chronic biting fail we reserve the right to remove the biting child from the program.

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