Forward Arrow Backward Arrow

Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program

Overview

What if instead of calling it…

The “Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program”

We called it…

The “making sure ECE providers have the training, coaching, consultation, and other supports they need to be able to support every child” program? 

In July 2021, the passing of HB 2166 and SB 236 by Oregon legislature established the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program and launched a study on Oregon’s use of suspension and expulsion in early childhood care and education programs. In the 2022 Legislative Session, HB 5202 approved the full $5.8 million funding for the program. The purposes of the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program are to:  

  • Reduce the use of suspension, expulsion, and other forms of exclusionary discipline in early care and education (ECE) programs, and  
  • Reduce disparities in the use of suspension, expulsion, and other forms of exclusionary practices in ECE programs based on race, ethnicity, language, ability, or gender.  

[GRAPHIC] Program Approach: Training for Early Childhood Educators: Expanding opportunities for training, coaching and consultation to early childhood educators. Training for Technical Assistance Professionals: Expanding opportunities for training, coaching and consultation to and by technical assistance (TA) professionals. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Model: Increasing access to Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) statewide. Coordinated System of Support: Providing a coordinated system of support including a “warmline” for early childhood educators to request services.

[GRAPHIC] Example Scenario for Program Approach: 1. Early childhood educator identifies a need for support. 2. Early childhood educator submits a request for support via the warmline. 3. Request is received; IECMHC and TA professionals collaborate to identify the best person to respond based on needs. 4. IECMHC or TA professional contacts the early childhood educator. 5. Intentional and responsive support is provided. 6. Early childhood educator feels supported. 1. Collaborative efforts help maintain the child’s placement (occasionally the program may develop a transition plan).

In spring 2022, the Early Learning Division (ELD) formed a Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC) consisting of a group of community members  tasked with helping the agency shape and implement rule language for the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program. For more information on the RAC and a list of committee members who helped craft the new rules, visit oregonearlylearning.com/RAC#1647035338064-17f1b6da-707c 

Research on Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion

According to recent research data, young children in early childhood settings are being expelled or suspended at a high rate, and children of color and children with disabilities are disproportionately affected. The high rate of suspension and expulsion harms children and families, causing negative outcomes in children’s development, health, and education. 

A 2005 study of state-funded programs, “Prekindergarteners left behind: Expulsion rates in state prekindergarten program,” revealed that the rate of preschool expulsion was more than three times greater than the national rate of expulsion for students in kindergarten through grade 12.  

More recently, the United States Department of Education released the results of its Civil Rights Data Collection. The results on preschool data reveals that “6,743 children who were enrolled in public pre-K received one or more out-of-school suspensions in the 2013-14 school year.” Data also shows that black and African American preschool children are 3.6 times more likely to be suspended than white children. 

In Fall of 2020, the Oregon Early Learning Division (ELD) contracted with Portland State University’s Center for the Improvement of Child and Family Services and OSLC Developments, Inc. to conduct a statewide survey and listening sessions with families. The survey asked families to indicate if they had ever been told that their child “might need to ‘take a break’ or leave care, either permanently or temporarily”. More than 6% of all children were asked to leave care. When asked why the child was asked to leave, thirty-five percent of parents indicated the reason was that the provider could not handle the child’s behavior towards other children or adults.  

The root causes of suspension and expulsion are complex and varied. As a result, this program must include solutions that reflect and respond to the complex and varied issues.

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Model

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC), will be one component of the Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program. IECMHC is considered a promising practice for reducing rates of preschool suspension and expulsion. 

In January 2022, Portland State University’s Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services School of Social Work published a report to provide guidance for the program, “Centering Racial Equity: Design Considerations for Oregon’s Statewide Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Program.” This report was made possible by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) grant program awarded to the Early Learning Division. 

The Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) is a prevention-based approach to working with early care and education (ECE) programs in support of young children’s social and emotional development.  

Consultation Approach

The overall approach is focused on:  

  • meeting the social-emotional needs of children 
  • supporting the knowledge, skills, and capacity of ECE providers 
  • early childhood suspension and expulsion prevention 

The approach begins with ECE providers and/or parents contacting a centralized resource line, or “warmline” for support. The warmline connects the ECE provider with local consultants. The consultation will be structured to individualize support based on needs of the children, ECE programs, and cultures within the community. Through regular coaching with consultants, ECE providers will gain a greater understanding of children’s behavior and social-emotional development within the context of family, community, and culture.  

To support an anti-racist, equity-focused IECMHC system, the consultants will:  

  • receive comprehensive onboarding, reflective supervision, and ongoing training 
  • reflect cultures, histories and contexts of the communities they serve 
  • actively and intentionally address implicit and explicit bias 
  • participate in shared professional development to strengthen anti-racist practices 
  • build authentic, trusting relationships with staff, families, and children  

For more information about IECMHC , visit https://www.iecmhc.org/. 

Timeline

Throughout the development of the IECMHC program, the Early Learning Division (ELD) will be guided by the voices of Oregon families, ECE providers, and research.

July 2021
The passage of HB 2166 approved the establishment of the Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion Prevention Program. The passage of SB 236 approved the state to conduct a study of Oregon’s use of suspension and expulsion in early childhood care and education programs, and on efforts to reduce and prevent use of suspension and expulsion.  

January 2022
HB 5202 approved the full $5.8 million funding for the program. Portland State University published “Centering Racial Equity: Design Considerations for Oregon’s Statewide Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Program.” 

March to July 2022
The IECMHC Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC), a group of community members, is formed. RAC members help agency staff shape and implement rule language around suspension and expulsion. 

July to September 2022
To incorporate community input and co-creation of the IECMHC program, ELD will conduct partner, parent, and ECE provider engagement.  

September 2022
Public comment period. Rules adopted by the Early Learning Council (ELC). 

Definitions

Anti-racist
A person, policy, or approach which works to promote anti-racist ideals through active efforts to change embedded organizational policies, procedures, rules, behaviors etc. that have historically resulted in continued unfair treatment to some people and unfair or harmful treatment to others based on race. 

Bias
A subjective opinion, preference, prejudice, or inclination, often formed without reasonable justification, that influences the ability of an individual or group to evaluate a situation objectively or accurately. Biases can be either explicit or implicit. Explicit biases are the attitudes and beliefs we have about a person or group on a conscious level, while implicit biases are formed and held without our conscious knowledge. 

Equity
Working toward fair outcomes for people or groups by treating them in ways that address their unique advantages or barriers. Equity means that all young children and their families should have access to the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full, healthy potential. To achieve this goal, program administrators and policymakers need to be aware of and understand potential disparities in access to care and outcomes, and to then address these disparities.

These definitions are from Centering Racial Equity: Design Considerations for Oregon’s Statewide Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Program 

Rodriguez-JenKins, J., Mitchell, L., Tremaine, E., Green, B., Dupee, A., Ordonez Rojas, D., Lau, S., Monroy, J. (2022). Centering Racial Equity: Design Considerations for Oregon’s Statewide Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Program. Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services, School of Social Work, Portland State University. [Final Report to Oregon Department of Education: Early Learning Division]. 

 Resources

  1. Centering Racial Equity: Design Considerations for Oregon’s Statewide Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Program, January 2022 | Center for Improvement of Child and Family Services, Portland State University  
  2. Oregon 2020 Preschool Development Grant Statewide Needs Assessment: Family Reports, Winter 2020 | Center for the Improvement of Child and Family Services at Portland State University and OSLC Developments, Inc. 
  3. IECMHC | The Center of Excellence for Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CoE for IECMHC) 
  4. Suspension and Expulsion in Early Childhood | National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) 
  5. Preventing Suspensions and Expulsions in Early Childhood Settings | SRI Education  
  6. Timeline of Research, Commentary, and Policy Regarding Preschool Expulsions and Suspensions | The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy 
  7. Preschool Suspensions: This is What We Know, March 2018 | National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) 
  8. Information and Resources to Assist States in Developing Policy on Early Childhood Suspension and Expulsion, May 2017 | Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes 
  9. Who Is Being Expelled from Preschools, and Why?, March 2017 | Zero to Three 
  10. Spotlighting Progress in Policy and Supports, November 2016 | U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
  11. Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) for the 2013-14 School Year, June 2016 | U.S. Department of Education 
  12. Reducing Suspension and Expulsion Practices in Early Childhood Settings, December 2014 | Office of Early Childhood Development  
  13. Implementing Policies to Reduce the Likelihood of Preschool Expulsion, January 2008 | Foundation for Child Development 
  14. Prekindergarteners Left Behind, May 2005 | Foundation for Child Development

Katrina Miller

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist
O: 971.719.6981

This program is in partnership with:  

Logo for Trauma Informed Oregon
Oregon Inclusive Partners Logo