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Implementation of Arkansas's initiative to reduce suspension and expulsion of young children

This article describes the development, initial implementation, and formative evaluation of Arkansas's plan to reduce suspensions and expulsion from early care and education (ECE) settings. We describe how Arkansas used multifaceted implementation strategies to facilitate change in six areas: policy, workforce development, specialized supports, family partnerships, child screening, and data tracking. We also highlight key findings from the formative evaluation. For example, needs assessment data revealed that 40.8% of ECE providers suspended at least one child in the past year, and 9% expelled one or more children. We evaluated efforts to educate ECE providers on new nonexpulsion policies and new supports, and results indicate that 89.5% of directors agreed that they understand why young children should not be suspended or expelled, though the majority reported concern about implementing a nonexpulsion policy. Initial utilization data from a new ECE provider support system indicate that in the first quarter, 53 requests were submitted for help with challenging classroom behavior. Most requests involved male children over the age of 3, and one-third of the requests referenced traumatic events experienced by the children. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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