Using the Teaching and Guidance Policy Essentials Checklist to Build and Support Effective Early Childhood Systems
The prevalence of preschool expulsion, coupled with racial disparities in expulsion rates and the potential long term negative effects of challenging behaviors in the early years, has created an urgent need to build early childhood systems to address these issues. The teaching and guidance policy essentials checklist (TAG-PEC) has been developed to assess nine essential features of high quality early childhood discipline policies and can be used by early childhood programs in a variety of settings to evaluate, refine, and revise existing policies or guide in the development of new policies. Using data from 282 guidance policies assessed using the TAG-PEC, the authors use a framework for systems building developed by Coffman (A framework for evaluating systems initiatives, 2007) to position the TAG-PEC as a powerful tool that can be used to help build and support an effective and cohesive early childhood system. Findings indicate that, overall, discipline policies were not high quality and there was a great deal of variability in the TAG-PEC scores. By bringing evidence based practices to the field via a simple to use checklist, the authors hope to help contribute to the development of a comprehensive early childhood system and that supports programs in the provision of high quality services to children and families.