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Safe Place in the Classroom


NOCAC Head Start/Home Based staff will ensure that there is a Safe Place (Conscious Discipline) set up for the children to use with an adult when they need to calm and self-regulate their emotions.


  1. Setting up the Safe Place – create a Safe Place in a quiet area in the classroom that the child can still be seen in the classroom.  A teacher will be available to be in or next to supporting the child.  Have a soft place for the child to sit on for comfort.  Place the “I Calm” (Conscious Discipline) materials in the area which are the 4 breathing strategies (S.T.A.R., balloon, drain and pretzel pictures).  “I Feel” tools, which consists of Feeling Buddies.  “I Choose” chart that gives the child options of activities to do when they have calmed themselves down.
  2. When the child goes to Safe Place, a teacher will follow them there to support them in using the tools.  The teacher can first lead them into the breathing tool the child picks and then repeats the breathing three times.
  3. After the child has done the breathing, they can then pick a Feeling Buddy of how they are feeling and discuss.  The teacher will have already completed a lesson for each of the Feeling Buddies so the children will know how to use them.
  4. After the discussion the children can pick an “I Choose” activity to do.  This could be journals, reading a book, looking at the friends and family book, holding/squeezing a soft toy or having a bottle with composure cream (child pretends to rub lotion onto his/her own hands to use pressure).
  5. There could also be blankets, stuffed animals or pillows for the child to use during his/her time in Safe Place.
  6. Once individual children have learned the necessary skills to self regulate their upset, they may use the Safe Place independently.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.31(1)(i)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    


Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   8/23/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    
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