Licensed child care centers are required to establish discipline guidelines. The following is the EMCCC Discipline Policy Statement presented in the format designed by New York State Office of Children & Family Services. In addition to parents of children in care, all employees, substitutes, and volunteers at EMCCC must be informed of the content of these guidelines. Discipline will be directed, administered and supervised only by EMCCC staff members.
1. How is your program helping children develop self-control and learn acceptable forms of social behavior?
We teach peaceful, non-violent negotiated solutions to conflicts and in problem solving. We promote this approach in our classrooms at all times. Positive discipline is the method by which children learn self control and to assume responsibility for their actions. The process of learning self-control and accepting responsibility is an important part of the overall curriculum.
2. What are your program’s expectations for the behavior of children?
We work diligently with the children to not hurt other people or destroy property. Additionally, we work with the children to not strike, scratch, bite, or kick each other or any adult. We work with the children to use language that is respectful of others.
3. How do you and your staff share these expectations with the children?
Clear and consistent age appropriate and developmentally appropriate limits and rules are set and observed within each classroom group in order that children learn to compromise, negotiate, and wait turns, and eventually share and play cooperatively. This is done by frequently and consistently talking, explaining, and setting a positive example with the children.
4. How do you and your staff help children resolve conflicts?
Adults appropriately modeling positive behaviors do more to teach conflict resolution than does constant setting of rules and a negative approach. Promptly, classroom staff members positively intervene when conflicts arise, using the conflict as a learning opportunity, to guide the children towards an appropriate resolution.
5. How do you and your staff encourage children to find acceptable ways to problem solve?
Children are positively rewarded for respecting each other. Children are praised frequently for the positive things they do. Negative actions are promptly and consistently addressed in a positive manner. Each child is given the amount of adult attention he or she needs to work through a problem and to learn solutions for the future.
6. How do you and your staff ensure that solutions are carried out?
Staff members work diligently to present a fair and consistent approach to positive discipline. Appropriate solutions are established and carried out in relation to the child's action and without prolonged delay. Open lines of communication are maintained to ensure consistency of approach in regards to the home and the classroom.
7. How do you and your staff set up the environment to foster positive interaction and reduce conflict?
Each classroom is set up as a user friendly positive environment. Items that the children should not handle or need permission to handle are out of their reach. Multiple items of interest to the children are stored in each room in several areas to reduce temptation and promote sharing and turn taking. Classroom staff members strategically position themselves in the room or playground to promote a harmonious environment.
The following practices violate regulatory standards for appropriate discipline and are therefore prohibited:
The use of corporal punishment is prohibited. Corporal punishment means punishment inflicted directly on the body, but not limited to:
• Shaking, slapping, twisting, or squeezing;
• Demanding excessive physical exercise, excessive rest or strenuous or bizzare postures; and
• Compelling a child to eat or have in his/her mouth soap, food, spices, or foreign substances.
The use of room isolation is prohibited. No child can be isolated in an adjacent room, hallway, closet, darkened area, play area or any other area where a child cannot be seen or supervised.
Food cannot be used or withheld as a punishment or a reward.
Toilet training methods that punish, demean or humiliate a child are prohibited.
Any abuse or maltreatment of a child, either as an incident of discipline or otherwise, is absolutely prohibited. Any child care program must not tolerate, or in any manner condone, an act of abuse or neglect of a child by an employee, volunteer, any person under the provider’s control or an individual residing in the home.
Please feel free to adress any questions regarding discipline at the Center to the teacher or an administrative staff member.