Phone (419) 784-5136 | Address: 1933 E 2nd Street Defiance, Ohio 43512


Young children can present challenging behaviors in the educational setting. NOCAC Head Start is committed to providing support to staff and a family to address children’s challenging behaviors.


  1. NO CHILD can be sent home without the approval of the Head Start/ECE Director or the Child Development/Education Manager.  If they are not available, the Mental Health/Behavior Specialist can approve.
    1. If this does occur, the MH/B Specialist will immediately schedule a meeting with the family to determine the next steps for the child.
    2. Staff may refer to the Suspension and Expulsion Policyfor further guidance
  2. All challenging behavior must be properly documented on the Behavior Logs.
    1. This form details the nature of the challenging behavior, triggers, staff response and when/how you contact families.
    2. These are due to the Mental Health/Behavior Specialist at the end of each month.
    3. Logs that are not fully completed will be returned to their site for completion.
  3. After multiple occurrences of behavior and proper documentation on the behavior log, communication will be made to MH/B Specialist to ensure they are aware.
  4. All teachers will complete a DECA assessment.
  5. MH/B Specialist will complete a Mental Health Observation on each classroom starting in the fall.
    1. Concerns regarding individual child observations will be addressed with teaching staff and will start the Behavior Plan process.
  6. After observations, or in the case of extreme and unsafe behaviors, teachers will complete the Behavior Plan paperwork.
    1. Address the challenging behaviors and the plans the teaching staff will implement within their classrooms to assist children with reducing challenging behaviors. Behavior Plans are initiated by teachers to see if behaviors can be handled within the classroom setting.
    2. Teachers will share their plans with the MH/B Specialist.
    3. The Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant may assist teachers in initiating and completing their Behavior Plan.
    4. The Behavior Plan will be put in place for 2 weeks.
  7. If the behavior plan and interventions are not successful after 2 weeks of implementation, the Behavior Plan Follow Up will be completed by the teaching staff. More options will be discussed and more intensified interventions possibly implemented.
    1. The Behavior Plan Follow Up will be implemented for another 2 weeks.
  8. If after 2 weeks behaviors have not been reduced, an Individual Child Observation will be completed.
    1. This observation will last 1-1.5 hours
    2. Everything the child does within that time frame will be documented and shared with teaching staff and families.
  9. A meeting will be set up with the teaching staff, parents, MH/B Specialist, ECMHC, County manager, and any additional support staff deemed necessary.
    1. At this meeting, a summary of the child’s DECA scores, Behavior Plan and Follow Up, and Observation will be discussed.
    2. All parties involved will work to complete the Intervention Plan.
    3. A date will be decided at the meeting when the Intervention Plan will be reviewed.
    4. This meeting should last no longer than 1 hour.
  10. On the review date, individuals will discuss how the Intervention Plan is working and will complete the Intervention Plan Follow Up.
    1. If the interventions are not successful after implementation, another team meeting with the parents will occur. At said meeting, more options will be discussed and more intensified interventions possibly implemented
      1. Clinical referral may be determined necessary at this time
    2. Once behavior has been corrected or reduced, observations/meetings with the teacher will discontinue. Follow up will be made to check in on child and teacher and follow up with parents will be made.
  11. The Mental Health/Behavior Specialist will do follow up observations and meetings with the teacher as needed.
    1. If no progress is noted or behaviors have gotten severely aggressive and unsafe, a few other options can be tried; such as reducing days, extra staff in the room, transfer to another class time/option, evaluated for a behavior IEP or home base.
    2. At this time the child would continue implemented strategies/interventions and if the behavior improves, they may return to class fully if the situation warrants it. This decision will be made by the MH/B Specialist and the teacher.
    3. Follow up will be made after 2 weeks to determine if the strategies are helping correct the problem behavior. If not, adjustments will be made to the plan and follow up will continue on a bi-weekly basis.
    4. Staff may refer to the Suspension and Expulsion Policy for further guidance
  12. Potentially dangerous behaviors may occur quickly and with little warning.  Staff will take immediate action to ensure the safety of the child and others in the environment.  For the safety of the child and staff, crisis intervention will involve gently yet firmly removing the child from the situation, holding the child only long enough to get him/her to a safe place to quiet down.
  13. At any time a behavior plan can be modified for severity of behaviors and safety of class and staff

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:  1302.45, 1302.17, 1302.46
ODJFS Child Care Manual:
CACFP Regulation:
Caring for Our Children:  5.3.2
Other Sources:


Effective Date: Reviewed Date:
Approved By Policy Council: Revision Approved By Policy Council: