We understand that a child’s behaviour is their way of expressing their emotions. Therefore, the purpose of this policy is to set out how we help children learn how to express and understand their emotions and how we help children and parents when behaviour causes concern.
- Staff manage rooms with a positive approach and respect for all people as individuals. We show respect to all other people at Nursery, all nursery resources and the environment and wider community. This ties in with demonstrating British Values.
- We recognise the importance of adult-child relationships. Our Key Person approach is sensitive to the fact that children might relate better to different staff, while recognising the importance of all staff in each room developing relationships with each child. We also understand the important of understanding the key adult relationships in a child’s life and the effects they can have on behaviour.
- We acknowledge that behaviour is an expression of emotion.
- We recognise that all “difficult” behaviour is coming from a place of fear and that our role as adults is to try and understand what the child is experiencing to create this behaviour.
- Raised voices increase the volume and stress levels. Staff must recognise that if they are constantly raising their voice they are not resolving situations in a positive way. Reactions to behaviour must be proportionate and not a result of a member of staff’s mood. We promote calming strategies for staff and children. We encourage staff to self-reflect on how they are feeling in such situations? We ask staff to think, how can they gain support?
- We believe it is preferable to try and support a child understand and cope with the emotions that are leading to the behaviour rather than distract them. We also acknowledge that staff need support in these situations, which is ongoing through supervision and management awareness.
- We recognise that adult attitudes to a child’s behaviour can cause stereotyping. This can affect the self-esteem of the child, as well causing other children to perceive that child in a negative way. Conversations about children and families are never held in front of children or other staff. Confidentiality is paramount. We give every child a “fresh start” every day.
- We recognise the importance of adults’ role modelling behaviour.
- We aim to teach children the skills to guide themselves and words to help them describe their feelings. See The 5 C’s process.
- Recognising that all children are unique, we ensure that staff support each child’s behaviour in a way that is appropriate for their age and level of development.
- Our focus is to ensure that every child feels that we care about them whatever their behaviour.
- We work in partnership with parents to support each child. We will discuss concerns with parents, share our approach with them and do all we can to help them support their child to develop healthy behaviours.
- Each Nursery has a named Behaviour Support co-ordinator.
- We encourage the behaviour we want; we try to use “do” rather than “don’t” and “stop” rather than “no”. We talk to the child about what is happening rather than shouting instructions across a room.
- Enthusiastic praise is given in smiles and words. Praise is descriptive and constructive such as “I like how hard you have tried with that” rather than empty such as “good girl” or “well done”. Use of stickers and other extrinsic rewards are not encouraged.
- Children’s opinions are sought for devising rules and boundaries. In some nurseries we have Room Rules which the children create themselves for their room. The Rules are very simple and the children understand them.
- Children are encouraged to participate fully in all aspects of nursery life, including tidying up, caring for toys and table manners. This helps them understand respect for nursery and other children and to gain a sense of achievement when they have helped and contributed.
- Songs are used to help children understand what behaviour is expected and why.
- Different types of behaviour are discussed at circle or group times in age appropriate ways. Respect for each other is taught through games where we practise: listening to each other; sitting together; building confidence when talking to a group; taking turns and being quiet if it is another child’s turn.
- We encourage children to solve their own minor disputes by helping them learn phrases such as “I don’t like it when you…” “please don’t do…” “stop I don’t like that…” If the child needs assistance we intervene where appropriate in a way that helps teach life skills.
- We recognise that sometimes children are simply tired and need to be supported in ways to rest or calm down.
- Corporal punishment, or threat of corporal punishment, is not used, permitted or condoned at any Bristol Childcare Nursery.
- In clause 3.52 of the EYFS Statutory Framework “a person will not be taken to have used corporal punishment where physical Intervention was taken “for the purposes of averting immediate danger of personal injury to any person or to manage a child’s behaviour if absolutely necessary”. Where Physical Intervention has been used, an Incident Form will be filled out on the day and parents asked to sign.
- Any incidences of physical contact between children, or for behaviour that we consider a parent needs to know about, will be recorded on an Incident Form, which the parent will be asked to sign as part of the discussion with the key person, Behaviour Support Co-ordinator or manager.
THE 5 Cs
- We use the 5 Cs approach, developed by Jane Evans. This approach is brain-friendly and relationship focussed.
Check in – be with the child, hug them if you can, is everyone okay?
Calmness – this is for the practitioner; take a breath to step out of “meercat” brain. It isn’t an emergency. The child can learn more if you are calm, you can teach not punish. Wait until you can speak with kindness. We need to be curious, not furious.
Connection – connect with the child; put your hand on their hand, look at them, be at their level.
Curiosity – be curious; ask “I wonder how you were feeling when you did that?” It looks like there were big feelings here? I wonder how everyone was feeling before the pushing/biting happened because it’s not okay to do this so we need to work out what feelings were happening”. Even a young child will learn the cadence of your voice and words.
Co-operation – find ways to help the child find other ways to react; suggest “if we get scared again, I wonder what we could do…? Plan ideas with the child, this builds their brain and says to the child “I know you are a good person, but you have these fears, this is how we can help you.” For older children, ask “can you recognise when you are scared/angry/upset? Can you come and find me?”
ONGOING BEHAVIOUR CONCERNS
- We seek to understand the triggers for a child’s behaviour and develop effective responses as a team.
- We will discuss ongoing behaviour concerns with parents to try and discover if there are any issues at home that might be triggering the behaviour. Any information shared by parents with a member of staff will be shared sensitively with senior members of staff as necessary to help the child.
- After speaking with parents, if it is considered helpful, we will use the ABC (Antecedent Behaviour Consequence) system. We will use an ABC Chart and Checklist (Appendix 1) to record behaviour at Nursery to see if we can establish any patterns or particular triggers for the behaviour. All key staff will be involved but the Behaviour Support co-ordinator will oversee this and liaise with the parents. If appropriate, parents will be offered an ABC Chart to use at home.
- The Behaviour Support co-ordinator and key person will continue to review the responses used by the team to the child’s behaviour to assess their impact, taking into account the experiences of the child. Observations and impacts on the child will be noted on the ABC Chart and evaluated, with strategies being revised as required, and the chart updated.
- A risk assessment should be used if a child is physically hurting others.
- We recognise that certain behaviour may be the result of other educational or developmental needs. Therefore, the Nursery SENCO will be involved in ongoing behaviour issues as appropriate. The outcome of an ABC Chart may be that we need to involve other agencies. Working with parents, we will liaise with other agencies, such as Early Years Inclusion Teams and local children’s centres, to meet the needs of each child. Please see our Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy.
- Biting can often be a child’s way of communicating frustration or affectionate play that they can’t control. Staff should be mindful that a child who is biting regularly may need additional support.
- The 5 C’s approach is used to help all the children involved.
- If a child is biting regularly, staff will work with the parents to try and understand the reasons and to put actions into place to help support the child to stop.
List of Appendices