Reducing Exclusionary Discipline in Arkansas Early Childhood Programs

Little girl sitting lonely watching friends play at the playground

The Arkansas Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (AR DCCECE) is implementing a set of policies and initiatives intended to reduce the use of exclusionary practices and promote overall child care program quality in Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)-funded programs.

The Arkansas Implementation of Suspension and Expulsion Reduction Policies (ARISE) project is a collaboration between SRI Education, the National Center for Children in Poverty, and the AR DCCECE to maximize the potential benefits of these initiatives. The first step is to determine whether state and local CCDF administrators have sufficient data and tools to provide and monitor targeted implementation supports. Next, we seek to learn more about how CCDF providers learn about the state’s expulsion prevention policy and access assistance available from the state. Finally, we examine CCDF-funded child care providers’ access to high-quality professional development and early childhood mental health consultation. The ARISE team is doing this work through the following activities: (a) analysis of extant state administrative data, (b) statewide online surveys of providers of CCDF-funded programs (center-based program directors and providers and home-based child care providers), and (c) regionally based case studies of CCDF providers and professional development specialists in two regions of the state. The project partners will use the information gathered in each of these research activities to improve the implementation of these policies and continue to reduce the use of exclusionary practices in AR CCDF-funded programs.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the provision of early care and education in Arkansas and across the United States The ARISE team is also examining how AR child care providers are implementing state COVID19-related guidelines and coping with challenges related to these guidelines. The team will conduct a series of surveys and focus groups with child care providers from October 2020 through February 2021.  The team will produce four brief reports that will document practices in both center- and home-based early care and education settings and outline possible strategies for supporting child care providers.

This project by Grant Number 90YE0222 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Clients & partners



Sheila Smith (National Center for Children in Poverty at Bank Street College)


Other key project personnel


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