We’d like to share our experience with La Coccinelle – Le Prélude daycare service and acknowledge the help and support received from CISS through the Positive Outcomes Program (POP).
Following a request to POP, we were given assistance that helped us complete necessary changes within a few months thanks to the work and collaboration of the whole teaching staff.
We had steps to complete and big challenges to overcome. POP was adopted into our program, and recommendations were made to address challenging behaviours and—above all—ensure children and their privacy rights were respected.
Daily schedule: We have improved our routine by changing certain steps in the periods before, during and after lunch (e.g., one educator reads stories to children while the other cleans and prepares for early bird activities, the children’s monthly calendar is filled out to indicate special activities, absences, friend of the day, etc.). This has helped us efficiently manage the daily routine. Visual sequences are also used for transitions (e.g., dressing routine, daily schedule, personalized visuals, etc.).
To help children self-regulate, we have made connection points for various routines and transitions. This is often done when educators leave for the day so the children know when they will see them again. We also have an action plan in the event that a child wanders away.
In addition to teaching alternative behaviours, we have used “empathetic response”, “visuals”, the strategies “tell children what to do versus what not to do”, “first – then”, etc.
Room layout: To make space we have eliminated unnecessary or unused items, kept decorations to a minimum, and adjusted equipment (sensory bins, painting easel, etc.). We have also put red tape on the floor near doorways to illustrate the boundaries and rules the children may encounter in life. A warning buzzer is still used to alert educators if the door is open or a child has left the room.
Outdoor layout: The attendance book has since been kept far from doors or barriers to prevent children from wandering out. There is also a management system (e.g., timer, tricycle waiting list, signs, etc.) and extra toys to ensure all children can participate.
Other strategies: We now use positive reinforcement, the motivational chart, empathetic statements, and the bead counter. Challenging behaviours are neither given undue emphasis nor associated with children’s names, as names are used only for positive behaviours. A list of children’s interests and favourite activities is always available, and we have set aside one day a week for children to bring a toy from home. We’ve improved our sensory bins based on the list of interests; kept centres open to the end of the day, and put great effort into teaching social skills.
In short, this requires a great deal of patience, dedication, steadfastness and teamwork. While it may seem to involve many strategies and recommendations, it has been worthwhile because behaviours have improved and the classroom atmosphere has been transformed.
We wish to thank CISS, Jocelyne Desbiens, and our coordinator Noëlla Dubuc-Morin for their invaluable support and assistance.
La Coccinelle – Le Prélude