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Parent Handbook

Section 8 - Discipline and Behavior

Behavioral Specialist Observations


A behavioral specialist is available to observe children in class, during play groups or at home visits.  Any concerns noticed by the behavioral specialist will be shared with the child’s family.



Head Start believes that all behavior is communication and all people should be treated with respect, dignity and kindness.  Adults are encouraged to model and help children learn to choose appropriate behavior.  Children are encouraged to talk about their feelings instead of acting them out.  Praise and positive support are used to encourage good choices and talking about feelings.  Head Start discipline policies apply to all employees and parents.  Head Start believes that children learn best with role-modeling and positive guidance.


Extreme Behavior

Staff and families will work together to find ways to help children with extreme behaviors.  This can include meeting with a mental health specialist, referrals to mental health agencies, referrals to local education agencies and creating a behavior intervention plan.  All personal information about your child, planning and activities concerning extreme behavior is kept confidential.


Encouraged Behavior


Head Start uses Conscious Discipline techniques to model, praise and reinforce appropriate behavior in order to help children know what behavior is appropriate.


  • Head Start accepts a child’s positive and negative feelings.

  • Head Start gives children words to express their emotions.  Once a child can do this, they can make better choices on how they behave.

  • Head Start provides opportunities for children to resolve conflicts and the positive guidance which may help them to choose acceptable solutions.

  • Head Start provides activities that will enable children to practice making decisions in order to develop self-awareness and self-help skills.

  • Head Start uses transitions which help children move from one activity to another.  This provides closure for a current activity and helps to prevent confusion.

  • Head Start sets limits which are developmentally appropriate.

  • Head Start offers alternatives to inappropriate behaviors to enable children to be in control and to help them develop their internal controls.

  • Head Start tries to be aware of situations that may cause children to lose control and take appropriate steps to prevent what can be prevented.

  • Head Start assists children in a nurturing way to locate quiet, non-threatening places to be when they are unable to work through their feelings in a group.

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