Preventive interventions are most effective when they are based on developmental research. We define school readiness as the pre-kindergarten child characteristics and skills that have predicted positive academic and behavioral adjustment to school in longitudinal studies.
As preschool children transition into kindergarten, they face heightened demands for self-regulation and social integration. They are expected to initiate and sustain positive relationships with teachers and peers, listen-and-learn on demand, follow classroom rules an routines, and , in general, show appropriate self-regulation, independence, and initiative in the classroom.
A number of pre-kindergarten interventions have been developed to foster social-emotional development and enhance child self-regulation skills. Many have demonstrated success in promoting school readiness skills, both by using new curricula and by training teachers in specific teaching strategies. However, more recently, comprehensive prevention programs are emerging, designed to integrate social-emotional learning components with intervention strategies targeting children's oral language and preliteracy skills.
A good example is the recent study conducted by Wasik, Bond, and Hindman (2006). In this preventive intervention, an interactive reading program was implemented in 10 Head Start classrooms. During reading session, teachers were encouraged to ask questions, make connections, and build vocabulary by explicitly teaching target vocabulary words with props and extension activities.
Between the ages of 0 and 5, children experience a phase of accelerated growth. The education, care and attention they receive during this crucial period of development have a decisive effect on their future.
It is therefore extremely important for service providers, planners, policymakers and parents to thoroughly understand the significance of early childhood to ensure that young children's social and emotional needs are fulfilled.
Social-emotional health is one of the most critical factors in a child’s healthy development and readiness for school and life success—a factor that depends on weaving effective mental health services into programs that support young children, including early care and education.Early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC) has been identified as a specific approach to prevent early childhood expulsion and a means
to promote successful social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes in infants and young children.
The Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI) takes the research that shows which practices improve the social-emotional outcomes for young children with, or at risk for, delays or disabilities and creates FREE products and resources to help decision-makers, caregivers, and service providers apply these best practices in the work they do every day.
Temperament is an important feature of social and emotional health. Temperament describes the way we approach and react to the world. It is our own personal “style” that is present from birth. There are three general types of temperaments often referred to as easy-going, slow-to-warm, and active.
Teachers in the experimental condition who received training and coaching demonstrated statistically significant differences in their implementation of Pyramid Model practices.
Children enrolled in the experimental classrooms implementing the Pyramid Model demonstrated statistically significant differences in their social skills.
Target children in the experimental classrooms had statistically significant reductions in problem behavior.
One approach to addressing challenging behaviors, as well as promoting social and emotional health and preventing the onset of behavioral issues, is early childhood mental health consultation. This approach is gaining popularity among ECE programs (e.g., child care centers, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, and family day care homes), and preliminary research findings are encouraging.