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The Role Of Staff In Facilitating Children’s Development

Panda uses two types of methods in guiding children’s behaviour: preventive and interventionstrategies. Our preventive strategies are based on the knowledge of child development. Theintervention strategies are used to stop or redirect undesirable behaviour when it occurs.Panda staff respect each child’s individual needs and interests to encourage the development ofchildren’s self-esteem.

Intervention Methods

When undesirable behaviours occur and children need to be stopped or redirected, weemploy methods such as:

  • Remaining calm;
  • Bending down to the child’s level;
  • Establishing eye contact;
  • Speaking in a calm and controlled voice;
  • Putting an arm around the child to provide needed reassurance.

When the child is ready to listen, Panda staff acknowledge the child’s feelings and remind the childof the limits in straightforward language. For example, “I know you wanted the toy, butyanking it out of her hands and hitting her with it, hurts Nancy. Use your words to tell herthat you would like to play with it too.”

Panda staff will focus on the behaviour asunacceptable – not the child. We will tell the child that his/her behaviour isnot appropriate, not that he/she is a ‘bad child.’ This will protect his/her self-esteem.The child is reassured physically and verbally, that he/she is valued and caredabout in spite of behaviour, with a hug and smile.

A younger child should be redirected or distracted with a new toy or activity when abehaviour problem is arising. If necessary, the child may need to be removed from the situationand encouraged to play in another area. A choice of appropriate alternative activities areoffered to an older child and the staff member helps them to become interested and settledin the new activity.

Preventive Methods

Caregivers set a good example by modeling appropriate behaviour and problem-solvingtechniques. Panda staff are polite and considerate of other staff and children. They recognizeeach child as a unique individual in terms of age, level of development, temperament,experience, family background and culture; as these factors affect children’s ability tounderstand and respond to directions. The caregiver plans a program of varied anddevelopmentally appropriate activities that maintains the children’s interest and allowsthem opportunities for choices. Children who are busy and involved are less likely tomisbehave than those who are waiting for toys or equipment.

Panda staff are primary childcare givers who know their group and proactively take steps to prevent problems from occurring.We plan transition time between activities so children know what is coming next and have time to finish play to mentally be prepared for a change. We organize our indoor play spaces sothat activity centers are well defined. We schedule time for gross motor activities indoorsand outdoors to allow children the freedom of choice to meet their developmental needs,especially the need to ‘let off steam.’

Guiding Behaviour & Setting Limits

Panda staff encourage positive behaviour with words or gestures. They establish clear limits thatare understandable to children and are consistent. Rules must be consistent and cannot bechanged from day to day. We believe children should receive attention when they arebehaving well, not just when they are misbehaving.

We use simple, straightforward statements of expectations when setting limits. Childrenare not given the option of a choice when there is no choice. When there is no choice, a clearstatement of expectation is made.

Panda staff focus on what to do rather than what not to do; they use positive reinforcement ratherthan negative. They explain the ‘natural’ or ‘inevitable’ consequences of actions. Forexample, “If you ride the trike into the sandbox again, you will have to get off the trike andplay with another toy.”

Children are given time to respond to expectations and give them reminders, since youngchildren forget easily. They ignore minor incidents in which children are not hurtingthemselves or others, or not breaking or taking away another child’s personal property. Ifchildren are able to solve their own situations, adult intervention is not necessary.

Panda staff help children who are unable to solve their own conflicts by teaching them basicproblem-solving skills and providing them examples of what to say or do. Teaching children to think ofeffective, alternative reactions will help them to get along with others.

Panda staff deal with incidents as they occur, and do not dwell on past problems orincidents. They let children know that they are welcome to come to them for furtherdirection or help.

How We Keep You Informed

It is very important that any concerns or questions you or your child may have becommunicated to us, as it is only through the exchange of information that understandingcan be reached. The centre and home share an intense interest in the well-being of yourchild/children. We are truly in partnership and the more active the participation, the moreeffective the results.

We have an open-door policy and parents are encouraged to call at any time during theday. To keep you current, Panda staff are responsible for communicating with you regardingyour child’s day. Communication books are used in each room for day-to-day information and concerns. For sensitive matters, we use individual communication booklets that can gohome at night with the child and be returned to Panda the following morning.

In case of accidents/incidents, Panda staff will fill out a report. For example, an incident report isfilled out if a child has caused harm to another child, deliberately broken equipment, or lostcontrol and had to be removed from the group. An accident report would be filled out if thechild has been injured.

When undesirable behaviour occurs and if it becomes excessive, a meeting will be set upwith the parent, staff, and the Centre Director to address the problem. The Child GuidingBehaviour Policy will be reviewed with you upon registration at the Centre and you will berequired to sign it.

Staff Orientation to Our Guiding Behaviour Policy

The Guiding Behaviour Policy is reviewed with each staff member when they are hired. Thestaff are given the policy to sign to demonstrate that they have read and understand the policy, and they willabide by it. The Centre Director is responsible for monitoring Panda staff to ensure that the policy isadhered to.

Guiding Child Behaviour Policy

When undesirable behaviour occurs and a child needs to be stopped or redirected, thefollowing intervention methods will be used:

  • Toddlers and infants will be redirected or distracted with a new toy oractivity to resolve the behaviour problem. If necessary, they will be calmlyremoved from the situation and guided to another activity.
  • An older child will be offered a choice of appropriate alternative activities.Panda staff will help the child become interested and settled in the newactivity, We encourage older children to problem-solve for themselves on averbal level – rather than physical level – to develop self-discipline and self-control.

If an older child loses control and is unable to reason, he/she will immediately be removedfrom a particular activity or group since he/she would be causing disruption or harm toothers around him/her. When composure is regained, the staff will help the child back intothe play area. Once the child is calm, the caregiver will let the child know that it is the behaviour thatis unacceptable, and not the child.

We feel that if a child is given ‘tender loving care’ and the attention that they require, thereis rarely a problem. Physical punishment, harsh words, and humiliation are prohibited.