Ohio program successfully reducing preschool expulsion rate

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The problem of preschool expulsion is front and center. Believe it or not, it's a big problem.

In Ohio, the preschool expulsion rate is higher than the K-12 rate.

There's a push to change that rate statewide and address mental health issues in very young children.

The governor’s office, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Nationwide Children’s collaborated on a program to intervene with children prior to kindergarten.

Consultants work with early childhood centers to teach the instructors how to give children the tools to self-regulate and stop the disruptive behavior before it escalates. They use a four-stage intervention model.

“There’s so much value in helping a kid that’s itty bitty so that we can avoid all of the negative stuff that comes,” said Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant Erin Tebben. “We want to make it so that when kids get older, they don’t need the intensive services.”

Early childhood centers have a hotline they can call if they need a consultant immediately. One will come to help them within 48 hours.