Quality Rating 1: Positive Guidance


To meet the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Positive Guidance: DAP 3.1, your written policy should describe your program’s positive behavioral practices and include how you use two specific strategies with the children in your program:

The Policy or Statement Builder provides a step-by-step guide for creating your policy.

Positive Strategies

Your program’s policy for positive behavioral practices should contain positive strategies for addressing children’s behavior. What do positive behavioral practices look like “in action”? This simple interactive activity helps you to identify how proven and effective strategies can be incorporated into your program to support children’s behavior.

Consider the following situation:

Michael is a four-year-old child in your program. His mother drops him off and starts to leave. Michael becomes visibly upset. He begins crying and yells “Nooooo, Mommy!” flailing his arms and legs.

Find out how these positive behavioral practices might work to support Michael’s transition into his day.

Providing choices to children gives them opportunities to make decisions and guides their independence. Choices communicate to children that they have some control and responsibility, which helps to increase their interest, attention, participation, and overall engagement in daily activities.

Present two activities you feel will help Michael transition into the day. Encourage him to choose the activity to start his day. Be prepared to make a choice for Michael you feel he will enjoy using kind, supportive words like, “I think it will be fun for us to play with blocks this morning. Let’s build a tall tower together over here.”

Redirection is a proactive method for responding to challenging behavior. This strategy gives children alternatives to a behavior that may be problematic in different situations. Redirection can be used to increase a child’s engagement and participation, or when the child is on the verge of losing control.

Ask Michael to help you set the table for breakfast, or lead him to areas where other children are engaged in activities that interest Michael.

Build a Policy/Statement

Develop a policy that describes your program’s positive behavioral practices. The Reflection Questions below will help you think about what you do in your program to capture it when creating your policy. Once you have spent time reflecting on the questions below, you’re ready to build your policy.

  1. What positive behavioral supports and strategies do you use in your program?
  2. What kinds of choices do children have throughout the day?
  3. When do you use redirection as a behavior strategy?
  4. How do you share your program’s rules? Do the children help develop the rules? (Optional Level 1)
  5. Are reflection and problem solving used as positive behavior strategies? If so, what are some examples of how they are used? (Optional Level 1)

Once you have spent time reflecting on the questions, you have the option to download and save the Positive Guidance Policy Template to create your policy.

Technology Tips

Download the PDF.

Save the PDF.

Print the PDF.

Edit the PDF.

Do you need more time to think about writing your Positive Guidance policy? Use the Writers Tips and Prompts to find examples and get more guidance on creating your policy.

Where can you learn more?