Did you know that preschoolers are expelled from school at three times the rate of older children?
Getting kicked out of preschool can hinder children’s social-emotional development, disrupt continuity of care for children and parents, and delay children getting the services they need.
One way to reduce expulsions, as profiled in a recent New York Times article, is to connect child care providers to mental health consultation services and expertise in child development. Fortunately for children and child care providers in Contra Costa County, these services exist – they’re free and they’re working.
Funded by First 5 Contra Costa, Child Care Solutions and the Inclusion Program have been consulting providers and helping children with challenges thrive in child care for more than a decade.
Child Care Solutions provides mental health consultation when children are struggling with social-emotional development or exhibiting behavior problems in preschool. The most common reasons cited for services last year were for behavior and emotional issues like aggression and defiance.
The Inclusion Project provides specialists who consult with providers caring for children with developmental delays or concerns or special needs. Communication, sensory, and motor issues were the main reasons services were requested last year.
Both programs, with parental permission, send experts to observe children in child care, coach child care providers, and develop solutions with parents and teachers designed to address the needs of children and improve their behavior or experience in child care.
Child Care Solutions and the Inclusion Project primarily serve boys – about 75%. This mirrors national data which shows boys make up only 54% of the preschool population, but 79% of children suspended from preschool.
Last year Child Care Solutions served 285 children at 79 child care sites. 64% of the children remained in their child care setting. The Inclusion Project served 100 children at 56 child care sites and 77% of children remained in those programs.
When children leave their child care program after receiving these services, typically it’s because they’re moved to a program more suited to their needs, such as those with smaller class size or special education support. In some cases, it’s because a teacher or program is not yet able to manage the child’s needs or behavior.
If your child or children you teach are experiencing challenges in child care, get help:
- Child Care Solutions (operated by We Care Services for Children): (925) 671-0777 ext. 106
- Inclusion Project (operated by the Contra Costa Child Care Council): (925) 676-5442